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Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Into the Dark reviewed in the next issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine
David A. Riley (writing as Andrew Jennings). Review by Helen Scott for Phantasmagoria Magazine.
It is bad enough for Janice Burroughs that she is afraid of travelling home from work in the dark but now there is a serial killer at large in London. The nights are drawing in and she is all too well aware of how vulnerable she is, a single woman, living and travelling alone. Then there is her creepy neighbour Jimmy. He won’t stop asking her out and hanging around. She tries to make as little noise as possible at home so he doesn’t catch her at the door, prompting another awkward exchange. Until one night there is a power cut and Jimmy comes to her rescue. Thinking he’s not such a bad bloke after all, she agrees to go on a date with him. Then as she gets to know him, he starts to pick her up from work in his old BMW - at least that way she doesn’t have to be afraid of travelling alone, what with a killer on the loose.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector James Yates and Detective Sergeant McKenna are investigating three brutal murders. They are hunting for a killer who likes to slice off the faces of their victims before applying grease paint. Jimmy’s name comes on their radar as he has a connection to the family of one of the victims. He did some plumbing work for them and has been previously arrested for domestic violence against his ex-wife.
To complicate matters, Fiona, a barmaid on her way home one night, not only witnesses but thwarts an attack on another woman. Hailed as a hero and interviewed by the papers she doesn’t realise that all the publicity is making her a target for the attacker. That is until late one night Fiona is attacked in her own home and it has serious consequences. Not only that but now the police are looking for a man who drives a BMW.
But what has all this got to do with Craig, a thirteen year old boy abducted from a train station in Lancaster? Finding himself manacled and mutilated by his ‘doctor’ abductors, he has given up any hope of escape.
Janice and Jimmy soon find themselves embroiled in a set of circumstances that means they have to flee London and head north.
I first read this book last June, then when I was asked to review it I read it again. I have to say that I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. It lost none of its appeal or tension, even though it was familiar. That is because Jennings/Riley writes so well. His characters are written in such a way that they have a familiarity to them and as the reader you just get taken into the story. The whole plot is wonderfully thought out and executed, leaving you, the reader, wanting more. I know I certainly did. Definitely worth a read and as it’s only £1.99 on Kindle how could you possibly say no. Go on, treat yourself.