A Dance of Ghosts by Kevin Brooks. Book review

A Dance of Ghosts by Kevin Brooks. Arrow ‘6.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

Many readers of fantasy and horror also have crime novels on their shelves. This volume, a debut adult novel by Brooks (he has previously written prize winning children’s novels), is pure crime. The first person narrator is John Craine, a private investigator working out of the Essex town of Hey. Most of his cases are insurance fraud but he is recommended by an old friend to the mother of a missing girl. Anna Gerrish disappeared a month ago and the police have made no progress. The generally held view is that she has probably run off to a better life. Almost immediately, Craine finds the past catching up with him. Mike Bishop, the corrupt copper his father tried to expose before committing suicide is in charge of the case and when he is attacked, Craine suspects Bishop is behind it.

Craine is one of the generation of detectives who has to have a troubled past. Sixteen years ago his wife was brutally murdered. The killer was never caught but when he finds Anna Gerrish’s body and DNA links the two deaths, Craine knows this is impossible. As with any first person narrative it is possible to regard the view point character as an unreliable witness. This is doubled by the fact that Craine drinks heavily and admits to having used other substances

While much of this novel is fairly standard fare for the crime genre, there are a few interesting twists and it has obviously been set up for sequels. This is light reading to while away and hour or two.

A Dance of Ghosts by Kevin Brooks. Arrow ‘6.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

Many readers of fantasy and horror also have crime novels on their shelves. This volume, a debut adult novel by Brooks (he has previously written prize winning children’s novels), is pure crime. The first person narrator is John Craine, a private investigator working out of the Essex town of Hey. Most of his cases are insurance fraud but he is recommended by an old friend to the mother of a missing girl. Anna Gerrish disappeared a month ago and the police have made no progress. The generally held view is that she has probably run off to a better life. Almost immediately, Craine finds the past catching up with him. Mike Bishop, the corrupt copper his father tried to expose before committing suicide is in charge of the case and when he is attacked, Craine suspects Bishop is behind it.

Craine is one of the generation of detectives who has to have a troubled past. Sixteen years ago his wife was brutally murdered. The killer was never caught but when he finds Anna Gerrish’s body and DNA links the two deaths, Craine knows this is impossible. As with any first person narrative it is possible to regard the view point character as an unreliable witness. This is doubled by the fact that Craine drinks heavily and admits to having used other substances

While much of this novel is fairly standard fare for the crime genre, there are a few interesting twists and it has obviously been set up for sequels. This is light reading to while away and hour or two.