Posted 20 hours ago

In The Dark

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She says what she thinks, uses her pregnancy to get what she wants and as a very welcome excuse to do things she otherwise would be criticized for. Far be it for us to tell BAFTA what to do with their awards, but MyAnna Buring really does take In the Dark into the light. I knew this because the marketing for the book had been heavily focusing on conveying to would be readers about this final twist. Billingham always keeps the pace high and the action flowing and there is very little here that feels wasted; everything is important later on, even the parts that you don't realise are important until it's nearly too late.

This does make it quite difficult to know exactly where sympathies should lie as a reader, especially as there is no good and bad here, just different levels of bad. All in all, the promise of a twisty plot was highly oversold, and the characters often seemed like they were following a plot instead of reacting sensibly, making the book heavily unsatisfactory. Whilst the groups of people who feature here - the police, the gangs and those involved in killing the gang - within these groups each individual member is not well drawn. As more and more information comes to light, the story becomes more rounded and you get to follow the main characters as they set about life and death matters.So it was a minor relief that his latest novel In the Dark was to be a standalone one, even if early optimism was dulled by the rather clichéd tagline …it's where fear lives, which didn't seem quite in keeping with Billingham's normal style.

And when she finally learns the truth what really happened and why, it isn´t only a surprise for her. However I was surprised to be drawn into the story very quickly and as a Mum, found it a refreshing approach to this type of story to have a pregnant woman as the main character, for me it was unusual but worked. Although not thrilled with the idea, Theo does as asked, with the result being that the car swerves and crashes into a bus stop and kills Paul Hopwood. This week we were robbed of the brilliantly offbeat figure of Peep Show’s Matt King channeling Quentin Crisp by way of Russell Brand as the rakish pathologist.Keeping a character's motives hidden in a crime novel isn't anything new, but when it goes on for so long and then the crime happens.

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