Review: The Domino Killer by Neil White

Thursday, 30 July 2015
Title: The Domino Killer
Author: Neil White
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Pages: 448
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
When a man is found beaten to death in a local Manchester park, Detective Constable Sam Parker is one of the investigating officers. Sam swiftly identifies the victim, but what at first looks like an open and shut case quickly starts to unravel when he realises that the victim's fingerprints were found on a knife at another crime scene, a month earlier.

Meanwhile, Sam's brother, Joe - a criminal defence lawyer in the city - comes face to face with a man whose very presence sends shockwaves through his life. Joe must confront the demons of his past as he struggles to come to terms with the darkness that this man represents.

Before long, Joe and Sam are in way over their heads, both sucked into a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to change their lives for ever...

The Domino Killer is the third book in the Parker brothers trilogy, something that both disappointed and excited me before I started reading. Disappointed because this really is a terrific series and excited because if it was the final book in the trilogy it meant that surely Neil White had to pull out all of the stops to end this series on a high. The Domino Killer was a gripping read from start to finish, written in typical Neil White style. I can easily recognise one of his books now, there's a real fluidity to his writing that just makes it a joy to read. At 2am in the morning when you should be asleep.

The Parker brothers are a great duo. Different like so many brothers are yet still with those same brotherly characteristics and similarities. Their relationship and history is so well thought-out and extremely believable. Joe Parker is a lawyer, Sam Parker a policeman. Both careers that they took up after the murder of their sister, both believing it would one day find them the answers they desperately need after her savage murder but on some level to also help others, and make up for the mistakes in not helping their sister. Joe especially. Both the criminal and lawyer aspects of this series have always been absolutely spot-on, and that continues in The Domino Killer. So wonderfully authentic that even without knowing Neil White's background you could easily tell that this is a story written by somebody with real knowledge and experience of the subjects he is writing about.

I think readers would probably get more out of The Domino Killer by reading the previous two books first, especially as they have left us with the mystery of the murder of Joe and Sam's sister Ellie, something that is revealed in a lot more detail in The Domino Killer when the murder finally takes centre stage, finally giving those of us that have followed the series the answers we have been desperate for. You can really feel the pain both brothers experience at the death of their sister, and at times their guilt. The Domino Killer is quite a thought-provoking read at times because of how far the brothers must go to uncover the truth, after all just how far would you go for those answers? I guess the answer to that question is we would do absolutely anything. It is a tense and thoroughly engrossing read all the more so because of the emotional investment I have in the characters at this point in the series.

Neil keeps that air of mystery and menace up the whole way through The Domino Killer and definitely saves the best scenes for the latter half of the story. I think the pressure was really on for Neil to deliver an ending that equalled or bettered everything that had came before. This really has been a brilliant series and the ending? Fantastic. All too often a great book is ruined by a rubbish ending but that isn't the case here. The ending is quite sublime, I had a lump in my throat and my heart was beating. Then, just when you think things are winding down there's a couple of killer twists before we turn that final page. All in all, brilliant. I already knew Neil White was a great crime writer before reading this series as I have loved his DC Laura McGanity series, but some of my crime blogging friends are yet to read one of Neil's books and so if you are also yet to pick one of them up, I highly recommend that you do as Neil is a truly talented British crime author and his work is yet to leave me disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh I haven't read this author Shaun but this sounds up my street! Great review, thanks.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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