Saturday 8 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Dangerous Kind - Deborah O'Connor

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

We all recognise them. Those who sit just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our necks. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie's disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . . 

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID and Belinda Bauer, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

What did I think?

I loved Deborah O'Connor's debut novel, My Husband's Son, so I couldn't wait to read her second novel, The Dangerous Kind.  It is clear that Deborah O'Connor is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, so be prepared to be deeply disturbed by this dark yet completely compelling novel.

This is a dual timeline story set in present day and 2003 and it takes a little while to get used to it as there are two sets of characters: one for each time period.  I have to admit, I couldn't quite get a handle on who was who at first so do stick with it if this happens to you.  Once I got my reading rhythm, my mind really started whirring: I knew the two stories had to be linked, but I didn't know how.  I did kind of guess one part of it, and just as I was feeling mighty chuffed with myself, Deborah O'Connor pulled the rug out from under my feet and revealed the whole shocking truth.

I really liked the character of Jessamine Gooch, from her unusual name to her total kick-ass girl-power.  Jessamine is a career woman and single mother, having adopted her daughter Sarah when she was 2 years old.  Jessamine is the host of a popular BBC radio show which investigates crimes that may have been prevented if the perpetrator had been identified as a PDP (Potentially Dangerous People).  Jessamine meets a woman in the street who asks her to look into the disappearance of her friend and, with the powers that be at the BBC looking to revive the tired show, Jessamine starts to investigate with no idea that she is putting her job and even her life at risk.

Once the missing woman story hooked me, that was it; I couldn't put the book down.  There are some very disturbing and distressing scenes skirted around in the book which made my skin crawl but thankfully Deborah O'Connor didn't go into too many gory details.  She did, however, only have to mention an unnamed BBC radio celebrity for me to feel physically sick.  I'm not saying it is that person in the story, but I'm sure he was the inspiration (if you can call it that) for the book.  Thankfully, the story is told from the other side so I didn't have to encounter him too often.  It shows how effective the writing is to evoke such emotions in a reader so I really must applaud Deborah O'Connor for giving a voice to the victims.

The Dangerous Kind is a total skin crawler but also a totally compelling thriller.  It's not for the faint-hearted but it's definitely a voice that should be heard.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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