When Evil Calls Your Name – John Nicholl


Published on 31st December 2015 by Amazon Media

The gripping dark psychological thriller by ex police officer and child protection social worker, John Nicholl.


Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.
Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.

Book one is reviewed here: White is the Coldest Colour

My thoughts

White is the Coldest Colour introduced us to the evil Doctor John Galbraith. As a psychiatrist and happily married man, he looked the epitome of respectability. Galbraith used his position of power to groom and abuse young boys in his care. Married to Cynthia, we only got a glimpse of her life and the kind of domestic abuse she was subjected to. This is the follow up book, that concentrates on Cynthia and her experiences with a cold evil paedophile.

We find Cynthia in prison, coping with a new life behind bars. A few years have passed since the events in book one. Cynthia is encouraged to write down her experiences, as a way of coming to terms with them. She starts a journal. Cynthia meets Dr Galbraith in 1985 and soon comes under his control. We see a bright, intelligent girl being subjugated and suppressed. Cynthia’s world shrinks. She loses confidence and grows in fear.

This is a great accompaniment to book one. It answers that question of how people like Cynthia get drawn into unhealthy and damaging relationships. It shows how evil men can get their kicks from manipulating those around them. So often we assume that Cynthia, or those in her position, are guilty by association or that she must have known what was going on. How could she not know the kind of man she was married to? We might blame her or misunderstand her behaviour. We might fail to see, that she is as much a victim as the boys her husband preyed on.

John Nicholls beautifully sets the record straight about Cynthia. We get clever insight into the cruel behaviour she endured with Galbraith and how he tried to psychologically break her. Her thoughts and recollections quickly reveal much about the survivor she has become. She is a very believable woman, who is unfortunate enough to encounter a monster.

This is a strong follow up to White is the Coldest Colour. For those with an interest in psychology, this is an excellent study of domestic abuse and manipulation. I found that it fleshed out the bones of the original story. I was completely absorbed into the story from the first sentence, and found Cynthia’s background very illuminating. I absolutely recommend When Evil Calls Your Name. It gave me much to reflect on.


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
This entry was posted in psychological and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to When Evil Calls Your Name – John Nicholl

  1. Pingback: Portraits of the Dead – John Nicholl | #northern #crime

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