The Dark Hours by David J Gatward

The Dark Hours by David J Gatward
Publisher: Weirdstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A murder game. A real dead body. Can he help a friend through a torrent of danger?

DCI Harry Grimm smells trouble brewing. As the Chief Inspector and his team prepare for a harsh winter storm, a call comes in from an old pal that a remote PI training session in the Dales he is attending has abruptly ended in a suspicious death. And while the gruff detective struggles through a blizzard to reach the crime scene, the residents of a nearby house come to a fatal end.

Questioning the attendees in a bid to narrow down the list of suspects, Grimm worries about the treacherous weather isolating them from the rest of the Dales… and his overdue backup. But when a group of strangers arrives in search of an escape from the savage storm, he could be opening the door to another round of murders.

Can he keep everyone safe when the rules turn lethal?

DCI Harry Grimm and his team are preparing for a harsh winter storm, when he gets a call from an old and important friend calls him with some bad news. A PI training weekend has gone horribly wrong, with the fake “murder mystery” turning out to be anything except fraudulent. And most of the people present have reason to hate the deceased. With the threat looming of them getting all snowed in and phone reception dodgy at best, can Harry and his team uncover what is really going on?

I’ve been really enjoying this series and find it a good blend of believable police procedural and interesting small-town crime murder mystery. There is a solid cast of relatable and enjoyable characters and even though a few of the secondary characters – particularly those in the local small villages – feel like they’re a little bit of a caricature, it all rolls up into a strongly believable mystery book. The plots are varied and interesting and in particular the main murder mystery was very well paced and plotted I felt.

I have also strongly enjoyed how Harry has evolved over the past few books and really felt that having an important – and long standing – friend portrayed in this book really helped highlight to the reader just how changed Harry has become and how the Dales have made him such a better – and happier – man overall.

This is an excellent series and while I do feel this book can be read by itself and with none of the previous books, I do feel readers will enjoy this better having read at least a few of the other installments so they have a good feel for Harry and his tightly knit police team. And excellent rural police procedural mystery book.

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