Source: Review copy
Publication: 2 October 2020 in e-book from One More Chapter
ISBN-13: 978-0008374860 (paperback 10 December 2020)
Some cases won’t die.
A young boy walks into a police station in France. He claims to be Carl Meagan – a missing child from Sheffield whose name is still whispered as a warning to kids who stay out after dark.
Some children won’t be found.
On her way home from the supermarket, nine-year-old Keeley Armitage vanishes without trace. Her family is overcome with shock and DCI Matilda Darke can’t help but focus on memories of the Carl Meagan case that almost ruined her career.
Some killers won’t be stopped.
As Matilda investigates, she peels back the layers of grief and sadness that surround Keeley’s family. Until she is left with an unimaginable choice: betray those closest to her or let a violent killer walk free…
The DCI Darke series has quickly become a favourite in my reading schedule and I now actively look forward to finding out when the next in the series is due. Michael Wood produces an excellent combination of great characters with well fleshed out personal and professional lives and crime thriller stories that stand out.
DCI Matilda Darke is a great character; a good copper who has that one case that haunts her and who , in this book, is wavering somewhere between wanting a relationship and actually having one. This team is an ensemble though and we see them working together and having each other’s backs, even when the stakes are dangerously high.
The subject matter of this book is a difficult one and Wood gives it an uncompromising, dark treatment. Already torn apart by what she believes were her own failures in trying and failing to recover Carl Meagan when he went missing some three years ago, Matilda Darke is determined that nine year old Keely Armitage, who disappeared after a trip to the shops with her sister, will be returned to her family.
The Armitages are distraught. Their son, Riley is severely disabled and Craig, the father has to work seven days a week to make sure the family can care for him and their two daughters. So when a ransom is demanded, their world just caves in.
Matilda can’t believe that a second child has been kidnapped in Sheffield – it is her worst nightmare. As she pulls out all the stops to search for Keely, her attention is somewhat derailed by news from France with developments on the Carl Meagan kidnap.
The team start their investigation and it is a tense and suspenseful journey as new developments keep them busy and our pulses race as Wood takes us on a perilous journey where the truth is darker than you could imagine.
I loved the fast and steady pace of this novel and the way that the plot took us backwards and forwards again, hinting at possible truths but leaving the final devastating facts to emerge in the most exciting and suspenseful way.
I was on the hook from early on in this novel and couldn’t let go until the end. What a dark and tension fuelled journey!
Verdict: One of the darker books in this series it is a hugely enjoyable and suspense filled read. Great characters and a good team to draw on make sure that there is lots of human interest and interaction in these stories. An all-round excellent police procedural series, which I will most certainly read more of.
Michael Wood is a crime writer based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, which is the setting for his thriller series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. He spends his days writing and researching new and inventive ways of killing people off for future DCI Darke novels as well as other projects he has up his sleeve.