Published on 25 February 2016 by Orion
Maria King knows a secret London. Born blind, she knows the city by sound and touch and smell. But surgery has restored her sight – only for her to find she doesn’t want it.
Jonathan Dark sees the shadowy side of the city. A DI with the Metropolitan Police, he is haunted by his failure to save a woman from the hands of a stalker. Now it seems the killer has set his sights on Maria, and is leaving her messages in the most gruesome of ways.
Tracing the source of these messages leads Maria and Jonathan to a London they never knew. Finding the truth will mean seeing a side to the city where life and death is a game played by the powerful, where everyone is lost but nothing is missing, and where all the answers are hiding, if only they listen to the whispers on the streets.
Shot through with love and loss, ghosts and grief, A K Benedict weaves a compelling mystery that will leave you looking over your shoulder and asking what lurks in the dark.
Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts is a delightfully surprising, supernatural read. It is a little bit different, combining a murder mystery with a ghostly element.
The story takes us to present day London and we meet Jonathan Dark. Dark is a police officer in the Met, with a dreadfully sad personal life and a few secrets. He is hunting a stalker, who has developed an obsession with a young blind woman Maria. Maria is complex and hard to make sense of at times. She was blind and thanks to an operation is sighted. Maria does not want to see the world and is continuing her life unsighted. A creepy stalker is following her every move and leaving Braille messages. Can Dark save her, before events take a nasty turn? Will Maria find out who her stalker is? And how does it all link to ghosts and an underworld crime club?
This is a book about ghosts, but they are secondary to the stalker/murder investigation. A K Benedict creates a rather fun modern day world complete with a collection of ghosts. They walk amongst us, mostly unseen and just do their thing. A few people see them and can communicate with them. You do not need to believe in ghosts to be utterly enchanted with this world.
Added to that is the lovely Jonathan Dark, a man determined to protect the very independent Maria, from a stalker with deadly intent. Dark and Maria are such strong characters. Dark is the sort of man you want on your side, but at the same time you are drawn to give him a hug. I feel we have just scratched the surface of his character and his abilities. As for Maria, I really tried to empathise with her and to like her. I could understand her reluctance to see the world in all its glory, but I was willing her to take off that blindfold. I was practically shouting at her to just embrace sight. I did love seeing London, through the rather unusual perspective of Maria. I cannot imagine what it is like not to see a big busy chaotic city or negotiate it, without tripping up everywhere.
I really had fun reading Jonathan Dark and entering into the imagination of A K Benedict. Please can we have more Dark? I think he has so much potential as a character. This book is absolutely recommended, if you fancy a quirky supernatural crime read.
Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts is published by Orion on 25th February 2016 and can be ordered from Amazon here