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I am delighted to welcome you to The Quiet Knitter and share a review of Neil White’s latest thriller, The Innocent Ones.

  • Title: The Innocent One
  • Author: Neil White
  • Publisher: Hera Books
  • Publication Date: 24th April 2019

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Three lives cut short. Two decades of silence. One evil secret.

By day, the park rings with the sound of children’s excited laughter. But in the early hours of the morning, the isolated playground is cloaked in shadows – the perfect hiding place to conceal a brutal murder.

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win.

Until help comes from an unlikely source…when the murder victim’s mother says that Connor is innocent, begging Dan and Jayne to find the real perpetrator.

Unravelling the complex case means finding the connection between Mark’s death and a series of child murders in Yorkshire over twenty years ago. Father of two, Rodney Walker, has spent years in prison after being convicted of killing of 6-year-old William and 7-year-old Ruby back in 1997.

But when Mark Roberts gets on the trail of the story, convinced that Walker is innocent, he exposed secrets that have long been buried. Secrets so dark, someone will kill to keep them hidden.

Dan and Jayne are in a race against time to uncover the truth – before a killer silences them forever.

My Thoughts:

As the third book in the Dan Grant and Jayne Brett series, this is a thrilling and wonderfully clever end to the trilogy. And I do think that it is possible for people to read this as a standalone without having followed the series. Previous connections and events are mentioned, enough detail given to clue readers in on what has passed without bogging down readers with extraneous information.

With a complex plot, this is quite possibly one of my most thrilling reads of 2019, a bold statement I know, but after some epic jaw dropping moments whilst reading this book, I think it will be hard for anything to beat this!

Tasked with defending a man charged with the murder of a London journalist, Dan Grant has his case in order, has his line of defence drawn up and knows how he wants to proceed with the case. That is until he is approached by a stranger offering help to find the true killer of the journalist Mark Roberts. The catch is that the stranger is the mother of the victim and Dan isn’t sure if she can be trusted.

Enlisting the help of investigator Jayne Brett, Dan Grant takes the tentative steps on a journey that throws up some of the most shocking revelations, many dangers and a few life changing events. Both Dan and Jayne encounter hostility as they investigate the claims made by Mark’s mother, but they continue to follow the clues and Mark’s story, oblivious to the dangers that lie ahead.

The historic case that Jayne and Dan end up investigating is dark and unsettling, the killing of children is never an easy read but White manages to ensure his plot is flawless without adding any unnecessary or gory details. His writing it pitched perfectly throughout ensuring that the story remains taut and intense, and with such intricately crafted characters it’s hard to drag yourself away from the book. I found that I was shocked by the killer, but wanted to know more, wanted to get inside their head to ding out why they acted as they did. I wanted to explore the case of Rodney Walker, find out what made Mark Roberts so sure of his arguments for Rodney’s innocence and the more I read, the more invested I became in finding out whether Mark was on the right track. Dan and Jayne are equally, if not more fascinating. Each has a past that is mentioned throughout the narrative, and if you’ve followed the series then you will be clued up on their respective pasts. The easy relationship between these characters makes them work well together, there is a lighthearted feel to their dialogue but an edge of concern and deep care when the situation needs it.

There’s so many things that could be said about this book, but I fear that I might give something away. But I will say that I was stunned at how the plot of The Innocent Ones panned out. I had an idea of what might happen in places, but I doff my cap to Neil White, because at certain points of the book I actually gasped out loud at what I’d just read.

A fantastic read and one I’d highly recommend!

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