From The Shadows was published on 9 March 2017 by Zaffre and is available to buy here
YOU CAN’T SEE HIM. BUT HE CAN SEE YOU . . .
Mary Kendricks, a smart, pretty, twenty-four-year-old teacher, has been brutally murdered.
Robert Carter stands accused of killing her.
According to Mary’s friends, Robert watched her, harassed her, stalked her.
But did he kill her?
Dan Grant is Robert’s lawyer. He and his investigator Jayne Brett have two weeks before Robert Carter goes to trial. Two weeks to prove whether or not he killed Mary.
Together they will get to the truth – whatever the cost . . .
It is a pleasure to read a new Neil White novel. It has been a while. As a barrister, he brings his experience of practising criminal law to his books. This is primarily a legal drama, with a touch of suspense. In The Shadows is the start of a brand new series. It was really rather good.
Dan Grant is a criminal defence barrister, working in the north of England. He is given a new case, just two weeks before the trial starts. Dan is rather straight-laced and down to earth. He is joined by Jayne Brett, an ex client of his, who works as an investigator. Jayne is damaged and reckless. She killed her abusive boyfriend a few years ago, after reaching the end of her tether. Of the two characters, I warmed to her the most. The case is one of murder. A woman in her twenties is found slaughtered in her bedroom. Robert Carter has been charged with murder. It appears that he was stalking her. Dan and Jayne have two weeks to seek out the truth about this case. The countdown has started.
I really thought White did a great job in pairing Dan and Jayne. They complement each other well. He also managed to make the court scenes come alive. I was fascinated with all the legal play and how a legal mind works. The story itself was my problem. It reminded me of a certain high profile real life case, that got media coverage a few years ago. I am not going to mention it because it is too much of a spoiler. As soon as I recognised one or two key elements at the start of the novel, I knew exactly who were the guilty parties. It was obvious. I was absolutely right in my deductions. Just call me Miss Marple! I suspect I won’t be the only one to see this and work it all out in the early chapters.
In spite of it being an easy case to solve, I really was gripped. White easily engages the reader and does not send you to sleep with too much of the dull side of the law. I was very entertained, especially by Jayne when she got into her investigator mode. I never realised that barristers would do their own investigations. Just shows how little of the world of the law that us ordinary folk know about!
Well done, Neil White on the start of what promises to be a cracking legal crime series! Please don’t make it too easy for me to solve next time.