Every now and again something stunning comes along, and now is that time.
In The Darling Dead I found a gem of a book.
Not only is the story original, and compelling, but the main character is one of the best fictional Police Detectives I’ve had the pleasure to be introduced to.
I’ll start with the detective. Detective Constable Beth Young is only 23 years old, but she’s already lived a full life. She had been a model, her boyfriend dumped her when she became a cop at the earliest age she could. He wanted a model girlfriend on his arm, not a Police Officer.
Her stunning good looks have been robbed from her by an errant broken bottle in a pub during a night out, and she now carries vicious scars on one side of her face. Does it hold her back? No. In fact she uses the way people react to the scars to help her gauge the type of person they are.
She is a puzzle solver, and has complicated puzzle books on her shelves next to the books on her other interest, serial killers.
She has a strange way of thinking, and uses logic to help her think outside the box. She emphasises with victims, and she understands perpetrators.
Her only problem is she has no filters, her scars redden when she’s angry, and at times there is no filter between her brain and her mouth.
I like this girl a lot.
Beth has just started in Cumbria’s Force Major Investigation Team. A small close knit team she is having trouble integrating into. The first case she works on is grim.
A bride spots a corpse in the grounds of the ruined mansion in which she is having her wedding.
The corpse has been posed and has suffered a horrific death. The investigation leads to the discovery of more bodies posed in the same manner. But the killer is not only escalating they are experimenting, until they have created their perfect murder.
Beth quickly has to find her feet in the investigation and uses her logic to start to piece together information from the different murder scenes. But as the young new detective, will the old hands take her seriously.
This is book has shot right into my top three of this year, and would be pretty close to one of my favourite books of the last 5 or 6 years.
I love the character Beth Young, and hopefully there is a lot of scope for Graham Smith to create a long series with her.
The manner of killing in this book is well written and without being overly graphic, is very gruesome. In fact it will live with me for a while.
A great book, just stunning.
Publishing Date: 30thNovember 2018.