Divided House by JM Dalgliesh

Divided House by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

The public face. A private reality. Sometimes, the dead have a lot to hide…

DI Nathaniel Caslin’s life is a mess. He works the minimum, abuses substances to survive the day and drinks his nights away. A once-promising career is in freefall.

Investigating the death of an ex-serviceman in police custody, reveals the disappearance of a young family. No-one noticed. No-one seems to care. In the grip of a bitter, Yorkshire winter, a family home reluctantly offers up its grisly secrets. Out on the moors, a murder scene of horrific brutality demands Caslin’s focused attention. In the search for answers, is anyone who they claim to be?

But very sad news as it is just an example over the levitra on line http://appalachianmagazine.com/gb/ stage. One-third of users in the DoubleClick viagra for sale cheap study had purchased something by clicking a link on an email. The question now is thrown cialis viagra canada on the manufacturer. However, many men are unable to get sale generic tadalafil and hold a penile erection needed for a satisfying intercourse. Haunted by the ghosts of the past, Caslin is pushed to his limits. Will this case break him or be his path to redemption?

DI Nathaniel Caslin’s career with the police is going downhill and with his marriage in shambles around him his whole life is seeming to spin ever more out of control. Struggling to keep a handle on everything – and with his heavy drinking and occasional substance abuse getting more out of hand – Nathanial isn’t managing to find a way out of the mess. When what seemed like a straightforward case of suicide leads to a missing family his case quickly becomes far more complicated – and sinister – than anything else he’s experienced.

I was unsure about this book to begin with. Having never heard of the “Dark Yorkshire” genre I was curious to try it out, especially since I’ve been enjoying a number of more noir and gritty style mysteries and police procedurals lately. This book was fantastic on many levels and I had already purchased the second in the series before reaching the half-way point of this story.

I found the plot deliciously complicated and I enjoyed how seamlessly the author entwined the two different cases. It didn’t feel overly convoluted nor too “easy” – even though I could tell early on the two cases would dove-tail it never felt manufactured or illogical. I was super impressed with this. I also was thrilled that while Nathanial certainly drank more than is generally considered healthy and Nathanial’s dabbling with drugs was also alluded to this wasn’t a major focus of the story. I was pleased that when Nathanial really got moving with the case a lot of his more personal issues in this department fell to the wayside as he focused his mind and attention on the police work and finding answers. I was pleased Nathanial wasn’t so far down the drinking/drugs path that he couldn’t function properly at his work and this helped sell me on his character and the story as a whole.

I also was pleased that Nathanial’s family life and the many problems revolving around that – while a subplot and given a fair amount of showing – didn’t over-shadow the mystery plot or case he worked on. I felt the scenes with his ex-wife and kids gave added dimension and life to Nathanial, but I didn’t feel like it was skimmed over nor taking up too much time away from the main mystery plot. I thought the author handled this balance really well.

While called “Dark Yorkshire” this story definitely had a noir type of feel to it. Some of the plot matter was gritty and realistic and I feel readers who prefer lighter mysteries or more “who done it” mysteries might find it a little much for them. That said, I was grateful that the darker aspects weren’t gory nor were they overly descriptive. I didn’t find this a gruesome or heavy thriller/horror style of book or writing and for me that added to my enjoyment of the mystery and story itself. The opening scene (three pages from the perspective of a captive/victim) was definitely the starkest and heaviest aspect for most of the story and I strongly feel readers should give the book at least a few chapters after this opening scene to decide if it’s for them or not. I was very grateful I pushed past that opening scene. While not convoluted with the plot twists there were certainly a few turns in the storyline I didn’t guess ahead of it being unveiled and while not earth-shatteringly new I found the plot and story refreshing, interesting and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Well written, solidly plotted and with a bunch of interesting secondary characters I feel this book should appeal to a wide range of mystery readers. Dark but not heavily so, gritty but not gory or using violence in a titillating manner, this book definitely ticks a number of the boxes of the exact style of stories I enjoy. I’m looking forward to reading the second in the series and am intrigued enough to look at this author’s other series as well.

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