Today I’m reviewing The Darkest Place, the fourth book in the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Many thanks to Quercus for approving my NetGalley request for this book.
Blurb: Christmas day, and DCI Tom Reynolds receives an alarming call. A mass grave has been discovered on Oileán na Caillte, the island which housed the controversial psychiatric institution St. Christina’s. The hospital has been closed for decades and onsite graves were tragically common. Reynolds thinks his adversarial boss is handing him a cold case to sideline him.
But then it transpires another body has been discovered amongst the dead – one of the doctors who went missing from the hospital in mysterious circumstances forty years ago. He appears to have been brutally murdered.
As events take a sudden turn, nothing can prepare Reynolds and his team for what they are about to discover once they arrive on the island . . .
My Review: As said in a previous review I’m catching up on my overdue reviews which is why this one is getting published at the same time that book 5 in the Inspector Tom Reynolds series is out in the world. What can I say, better late than never?
I’ve read all of the previous books to this one and I have to say that so far I think this is the best. Now I may change my mind once I get round to reading book 5 but of the first 4 I feel this is the best one. I love reading these books, having gone through the previous 3 this one felt like meeting up again with old friends because the characters are now so familiar to me. This story is set on an island just off the coast of Ireland, where a psychiatric hospital was once housed. Though the hospital is long since closed the discovery of a body of a missing person, brings Tom and his team to this windswept and creepy place. Through their investigation we find that some people still live on the island and few of them are quite what they seem.
I loved this book, it felt a lot like the first book to me but with a more settled and gelled together team. As I’ve said it was like meeting old friends again and as I did that I also explored the island alongside them because the author writes in such a way that you feel as if you are part of the team, following Tom on his investigation and feeling what he does, suspicion, fear, joy, everything. The writing is perfect and I would say has improved with each book. The character and location descriptions are spot on. I felt as if I could see and hear all of them as well as feeling the sense of foreboding that seemed to emanate from the island and it’s buildings and even the howling gales and rain that clearly would be a feature of such an exposed place.
As with any good crime story things are not as they seem on the island and this causes some headaches for the team and their families, given as this story is set at Christmas. However, this just adds to the enjoyment of the story and the impact on the festive season adds to the realism of the police work, after all, that doesn’t stop for holidays. I genuinely look forward to each of these books coming out, the next one, out now is on my list and will be read when I have time to properly savour it as that is what these stories deserve. If you’ve not read any of them yet then definitely start at the beginning as there are changes to the characters relationships as the series progresses but please, try these out. If you like police procedurals with something a little different I doubt you’ll be disappointed.