Evil does not exist. That is the opinion of Detective Andrew Hicks, a man who has encountered many murders but firmly believes all such crime has a relatively mundane reason behind it.
The brutal murder of a woman recently separated from her partner is quickly categorized as a domestic case by Hicks but when the estranged Ex produces a solid alibi and more victims turn up he begins to realise that there is something going that isn’t easily explained.
As Hicks pursues the culprit there are also intermittent chapters in which a young boy recounts gruesome events he has witnessed. What relevance, if any, does this have to the case?
This is an immediately absorbing tale that explores strained family relationships and the consequences of them. Hicks is an intriguing and somewhat complex character who struggles with his own issues as the case envelopes him. There is also an old candle-maker, Hicks’ pregnant wife and the mysterious General, each of whom add depth to the story.
Dark Room can be labelled a traditional police procedural / whodunit novel but the surreal feeling and multi-layers created by the author elevate this high above standard fare.
See elsewhere on this page for my interview with Steve Mosby.
Ric’s Rating: Essential.