I loved this book, not because its set in my home city of Birmingham, not even because the main character is wonderfully flawed, or because the story is brilliant, even though all of those are true. I loved this book because it is at least three stories in one, all wonderfully woven together to make a story that will stay with me for quite a while.
DI Dani Stephens, what a character, is returning to work in the Homicide Team of the West Midlands Police after two years off following an injury.
Dani is returning after being attacked by a killer, who nearly took her life, and worse still it was her twin brother.
As she returns she is immediately involved in a murder investigation, one of the strands of the story, but she is teamed up with a friend as joint SIO. Is this part of her rehabilitation into the team, or is she just not trusted?
Talking about rehabilitation, that’s the second thread of the story. In flash-back chapters we find out how she was injured, and are taken through her two years of rehab, the first six months of which were in hospital as she recovered from a Traumatic Brain Injury.
The third strand of the story is how she received the injury, the relationship she now has with her twin brother who is serving a life sentence for murders he committed.
Dani is a great character, fiercely independent to the point of pushing everybody away. Paranoid to the point of hysteria, and mucked up in the head by the medication she is still taking, even though she should be cutting back.
So when she develops a theory about the murder she’s investigating it’s not surprising that nobody takes her seriously.
As Dani carries on her investigation she starts to doubt herself, has the brain injury robbed her of the one thing she loves in life, the ability to do her job; or has she got it all right, and should everybody else actually be listening to her instead of doubting her.
This is a belter of a book.
I love complex, dark stories, that could all so easily be real, and this book sits firmly in that category.
Publishers: Canelo Hera
Release date: 12thSeptember 2019