A Walk Into Darkness

by Jade Winters

It's a good, solid, police procedural. I've been a bit worried about saying that as it makes the book sound formulaic, and it is: but then I realised that the detective novel is the genre in which formulaic is frankly the natural state of things! It's pretty much a given that you'll get a crime (generally a murder) at the beginning and the criminal will get caught near the end. Okay, so there are exceptions but on the whole that's how it works and that's what we like. So, I've given you what I think is the acceptable spoilers that 1) it's a mud er mystery and 2) the villain gets caught. But I reckon you're going to forgive me those.

There is also a dog. If you're like me you'll want the spoiler that he's a happy dog who is cheerfully OK to the end (though he does have an accident at one point) - if there is a dog, or cat, or horse, or frankly any animal in a book I worry in case it's going to get hurt, so you'll appreciate knowing in advance about this.

Ok, done with the minor spoilers. What else to tell you that doesn't spoil the book?

It's set in the UK and unusually it's set in Essex, near Epping Forrest....and they make it sound nice...though heroine Ashley McCoy works in Harlow police station and even the author's generally positive attitude to Essex is struggling to make Harlow sound nice. Oddly though, sometimes it sounds like it's not written by somebody English but rather by a native English speaker from somewhere else, something about the language use, but the author is definitely from the UK so it must be me. Ashley is a police officer with a difficult personal past, but then again that's pretty normal; though she doesn't have a troubled present which is nice. She lives alone in a nice house, with two well decorated spare bedrooms, a nice garden and muffin the dog.

The novel launches with a psychic claiming to know the whereabouts of a murder victim from 25 years previously, and the body is where he says it is. If I tell you any more we'll be into significant spoilers, so I won't! You'll spot the romantic interest as soon as she appears, but then again in the lesbian detective novel you often can! The supporting cast of coppers, friends and relatives is good too, and like the lead couple I found them really believable; not overdone and plausible as people, and it has a dog (which I know I already mentioned several times, but I like dogs). The 'supporting' villains who make up the suspect list are also plausible villains, they're just rather unpleasant people of the type we know doing unpleasant things and somehow

I'd say give it a go.

One slight gripe about the kindle edition though; the formatting is weird!

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