February Book Watch : The Dark Room Jonathan Moore

Publication Date: 23rd February from Orion

Source: Review Copy

Gavin Cain, an SFPD homicide inspector, is in the middle of an exhumation when his phone rings. San Francisco’s mayor is being blackmailed and has ordered Cain back to the city; a helicopter is on its way. The casket, and Cain’s cold-case investigation, must wait.  At City Hall, the mayor shows Cain four photographs he’s received: the first, an unforgettable blonde; the second, pills and handcuffs on a nightstand; the third, the woman drinking from a flask; and last, the woman naked, unconscious, and shackled to a bed. The accompanying letter is straightforward: worse revelations are on the way unless the mayor takes his own life first.  An intricately plotted, deeply affecting thriller that keeps readers guessing until the final pages, The Dark Room tracks Cain as he hunts for the blackmailer, pitching him into the web of destruction and devotion the mayor casts in his shadow.

I was a fan of “The Poison Artist” the first in a loose trilogy from Jonathan Moore, it was different and compelling and entirely gripping. With The Dark Room he has changed things up and out and I do believe I love this one more – I read it in two hugely immersive sittings, this is a slice of dark noir that digs deep with some beautifully composed characters (something that The Poison Artist also could boast of) and a story that just grabs you by the heart and won’t let go.

Whilst the first book was a deep seated psychological thriller, The Dark Room, whilst maintaining that gorgeous prose unique to this author, has an entirely different feel about it. Both mystery and drama, with a main protagonist in Cain who holds you in the story and keeps you hooked, this is a dark often hard hitting tale with some haunting and emotive themes as its driving force. Starting with an exhumation and ending with what I can only describe as an indelible hit to the senses, the story twists and turns beautifully, keeping you off kilter and never sure what may happen next.

The characters are rich and full of depth, the mystery itself is eerie and fascinating, the writing is pacy yet considerably eloquent and the reading of it is often intense and ultimately very satisfying. I think you could say I’m now a huge fan – the fact that Jonathan Moore has now offered within a glass darkly two very different and yet similarly clever novels means that I will look forward hugely to The Night Market next year. In fact couldn’t I have it now please? Oh go on….

The style may not be for everyone but from me it comes Highly Recommended. HIGHLY.

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Happy Reading!

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