Wednesday 18 November 2020

BLOG TOUR: Whispers in the Dark (DI Erika Piper #2) - Chris McDonald


Who will heed the call when Death comes whispering? 

Small time drug dealer, Marcus Stone and DCI Clive Burston had never met until one night in August. By the end of that night, both had been shot dead in a small bedroom in the heart of gang territory. DI Erika Piper is called to the scene but is at a loss to explain what's happened. How did these two even meet, let alone end up dead in what appears to be a strange murder-suicide? 

As Erika leads the investigation, another two bodies are found, killed in a similar fashion. One murder, one suicide. But who is controlling this macabre puppet show? As Erika delves deeper into the lives of the dead, the pieces begin to fit together and a number of nefarious characters crawl out of the woodwork - one of whom is almost certainly pulling the strings. 

A catastrophic event and a personal miracle threaten to derail the investigation. Erika must find the strength to continue, before the whispers catch up with her too...

What did I think?

Whispers in the Dark is the second book in the DI Erika Piper series and what an absolutely cracking follow up to A Wash of Black, Chris McDonald's outstanding debut.  Chris McDonald has such an extraordinary, albeit dark, imagination to be able to create such exceptional plots for his intensely gripping novels.  Be warned: once you pick up Whispers in the Dark, you will not be able to put it down.

You can of course read Whispers in the Dark as a standalone novel and find it completely brilliant, but it's even better when you already know the characters.  I loved reconnecting with Erika and her team as they investigate a series of murder-suicides.  As the body count rises the team face a race against time to find the link between the deaths and to find the person responsible for orchestrating this macabre theatre.  Chris McDonald sent my amateur sleuthing skills on the roundabout with this one: thinking a particular person was responsible, then thinking they weren't, then they were, then they weren't...

Although suicide is a very difficult subject Chris McDonald handles it sensitively, showing how hard it is for people to find the courage to reach out for help yet they can find the courage to end their life.  Tackling such a huge subject shows the confidence that Chris is gaining in his writing, which is going from strength to strength; I didn't think A Wash of Black could be bettered but he only went and did it with Whispers in the Dark.

I felt quite emotional when reading Whispers in the Dark as several things happen to the characters that had me close to tears; tears of both sadness and joy.  It just shows how well developed the characters are to evoke such emotions in the reader.  I gasped with shock at the 'catastrophic event' mentioned in the blurb and it takes a confident author to do what Chris McDonald did.  It's devastating but brilliant.

With a completely gripping, razor sharp plot, Whispers in the Dark is simply outstanding.  It's impossible to put down once you pick it up and is well-deserving of a full five star rating.  Just brilliant, Whispers in the Dark shows that Chris McDonald is one to watch and I'm eagerly awaiting his new series that will be published next year.

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

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About the author:
Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021.

Social Media:
Instagram: @cmacwritescrime

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