The Innocent Ones by Neil White

51+5dZjEMkL Synopsis: 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. Continue reading

The Darkness Around Her by Neil White (Dan Grant Trilogy #2)

51ETAhnt8AL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ See no evil . . . 

When Lizzie Barnsley is murdered along a canal after escaping her abusive boyfriend, Dan Grant is called in to represent her alleged killer, Peter Box. The evidence is strong, but did he actually do it? He didn’t know Lizzie, so why would he kill her?

Hear no evil . . .

As Dan and his investigator, Jayne Brett, begin their case, they discover a number of murders and disappearances along the canals, including the brutal killing of fourteen-year-old Rosie Smith ten years earlier. Rosie’s stepfather Sean had been accused of her murder, but then Dan finds out that Peter tried to confess to that crime as well and was ignored.

Speak no evil . . .

With a client who won’t tell anyone what really happened, Dan and Jayne have their work cut out, but when it becomes clear that Peter Box can’t have been involved in every murder and disappearance, they realise that they may have stumbled on to something far more sinister.

But the clock is ticking and time is running out for the next victim . . . Continue reading

From The Shadows by Neil White (Dan Grant Trilogy #1)

51ud9544GwL

Synopsis: He hides in the shadows, watching, waiting, until the time is right . . .

Mary Kendricks, a smart, pretty, twenty-four-year-old teacher, has been brutally murdered and Robert Carter is accused of killing her.

When defence lawyer, Dan Grant inherits Carter’s case only weeks before the trial starts, everyone expects him just to babysit it, but Dan’s not that kind of lawyer. He’ll follow the evidence – wherever it takes him.

But as Dan and his investigator Jayne Brett look into the case, they discover that there is more to it than meets the eye. In order to do their jobs they need to push the limits of the system, even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Together they will get to the truth – whatever the cost . . .

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I have always enjoyed previous Neil White books and it’s always exciting to see a new series so I was looking forward to this latest release. However, if you would have asked me when I was at the 25% mark what I thought I would have given it a 3/5 at a push. Thankfully the book picked up pace and by the end started to tick all the boxes so eventually I ended up rating it a 4/5. Surprisingly though I actually dithered over the rating of this due to a number of things that seemed a little sluggish. The book is definitely a slow starter and to be totally truthful it took me until the halfway mark to actually like one of the main characters Dan who is a defence lawyer working a new case. Jayne Brett who is the other main character was a whole other ball game and she ticked every box as far as characters go.
The story line centres around a new Murder Case that lands on Dan’s lap. Initially, I felt that it took some time to build up the case and for the reader to feel like you are the grip of things. Thankfully once past that sluggish start, everything picks up in pace and it seemed mush more like the usual type of books Neil White writes. Robert Carter is due to stand trial for Murder and Dan having only 2 weeks to prepare for the case decides to do his own sort of investigation yo allow him to get up to speed.
It soon becomes clear that this is not a simple cut and dried case of ‘he did it, put him to trial’. Dan along with Jayne’s help start to uncover a whole bunch of issue which throw the question out as to whether Carter is guilty or not. It made a change to see a lawyer in the driving seat as opposed to a copper. What makes an interesting thread to this story is Jayne and her past. She is one of Dan’s ex clients who murdered somebody and it made her character even more intriguing. After the disappointingly slow start that last part of the book more than made up for it with danger literally knocking at Dan and Jayne’s door. By the time I had finished I realised that I actually wanted to read more and was pleased that White decided to do a new series and one which I think will prove extremely popular.

The Domino Killer by Neil White (Joe and Sam Parker #3)

51bjWqzeafL._SY346_

Synopsis: When a man is found beaten to death in a local Manchester park, Detective Constable Sam Parker is one of the investigating officers. Sam swiftly identifies the victim, but what at first looks like an open and shut case quickly starts to unravel when he realises that the victim’s fingerprints were found on a knife at another crime scene, a month earlier.

Meanwhile, Sam’s brother, Joe – a criminal defence lawyer in the city – comes face to face with a man whose very presence sends shockwaves through his life. Joe must confront the demons of his past as he struggles to come to terms with the darkness that this man represents. Before long, Joe and Sam are in way over their heads, both sucked into a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to change their lives for ever…

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I have read a couple of Neil White’s books but chose this as I thought it was a standalone. What I didn’t realise was this is book 3 in a new series featuring Sam and Joe Parker. Luckily having not read the first two made no difference as there is plenty of background on the characters and relevant parts of the storyline so you don’t feel you are missing anything. Sam Parker the first brother is a Manchester copper, and a family man. His brother Joe is a criminal prosecutor and although the brothers remain loyal to each other you can tell from the early stages things are strained between them.

Sam is called to a man that had been beaten to death in a park and it takes little time to identify the victim. However what baffles Sam is that the victim’s fingerprints were also found on a knife at an old crime scene. What seems like an innocuous enough discovery, is actually a huge problem which starts to open a can of worms for everybody involved. Sam is on the other side of town having been called to a station to represent a client. Meeting that client , also starts a chain of events that Sam has no control over.

It’s difficult to say too much more about the storyline as to do so ruins it somewhat for people that haven’t read it yet. What I will say is that both Sam and Joe’s past comes back to haunt both of them and it invariably leads to both of them taking ricks that may cost them everything. Joe was definitely my preferred character of the two, but Sam was certainly readable…just a bit prickly. I also liked the introduction of Joe’s colleague Gina. It seemed like as the story progresses there just cam another layer of questions.

This was certainly a very enjoyable book and packed full of action. Although not necessary I wish that I had read the first two in the series to give me a bit of background on Sam and Joe. A very enjoyable read and I will look forward to the next one

Lost Souls by Neil White (McGanity and Garrett #2)

215x346

My Rating: 3/5

Availability: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Nook and Kobo

Synopsis: A woman is found brutally murdered on a quiet housing estate, her tongue and eyes ritualistically gouged out.

Children are being abducted and then returned to their family’s days later without a scratch and with no knowledge or where they have been – or with whom. If DC Laura McGanity thought moving from London to sleepy Lancashire was taking the easy option then she can think again. Already worried about uprooting young son Bobby to follow her reporter boyfriend Jack Garrett back to his hometown, she must quickly get a handle on these mystifying cases terrifying the people of Blackley – without putting the local officers’ noses out of joint.

Meanwhile, restless Jack is itching to get back to his writing and the cases provide the perfect opportunity to do so. But as he delves deeper into them, he finds murky connections between the two crimes and skeletons buried in the most unlikely of closets.

Most astonishing of all, he meets a man who ‘paints’ the future – terrible events come to him in vivid dreams which he then puts onto canvas. This ‘precognition’ is not so much a gift as a curse and to Jack it becomes terrifyingly that many people, including his own family, are in danger…

My Review: I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to getting stuck in to book 2. This time around Laura and Jack have relocated from London back up to Lancashire and are starting afresh. I liked both Jack and Laura in the first book and nothing has changed since then. They are easy to read characters and the writing has a nice easy flow about it. The opener of this latest book sets the scene for what Laura will have to deal with working alongside new colleagues in her job as a police officer.

Laura’s colleague on the job Pete was a really good character and one that I hope I get to see again. However, nobody else within the book made that much of an impression on me. The storyline was certainly okay, but in my opinion it didn’t feel strong enough. That may sound slightly ‘wishy-washy’ but it’s the only description I can think of. There is quite a lot of action and when the characters are introduced they all seem to interlink somewhere along which certainly kept me interested. I just couldn’t help but feel like something was missing and whatever that something was, it just didn’t make the story that memorable for me.

Jack and Laura obviously clash heads within their personal lives due to the nature of their respective careers. However, with that in mind I couldn’t help but feel like that rule only applied when the story suited. Overall, I am finding this review hard to write, or even explain in any great details. What I will say is that it’s certainly not a bad book, just one that could do with being better. Seeing as Neil White has such a great following and has gone on to write another 3 in this series I will certainly be continuing in the hope that the next book doesn’t leave me feeling the same way.

Fallen Idols by Neil White

311x500

My Rating: 3/5

My sister has been working through the Jack Garrett series of books; and with each one exclaims that I am missing out. After her last time of telling me I caved and pushed Neil White up to the top of the pile. Jack Garrett is a journalist who although originally from Lancashire is now living in the heart of London. The book starts out with a bang when a Premiership footballer gets shot dead in the street. DC Laura McGanty is put on the case and immediately knows that the murder is more than it first appears.

It was easy to fall into both characters lives and I immediately liked both Jack and Laura. Laura is a single mum and we see her try to juggle both her career and home life. Jack is also an easy guy to read and like as he is pretty laid back apart from when it comes to a story. It’s clear from the outset that both Jack and Laura have feelings for each other but this is put on the back burner in favour of a very fast paced read.

Before I knew it I was over halfway with the book and there was all sorts of mayhem going on. Jack is convinced that the murder is nothing to do with the fact that the victim is a celebrity. While Laura investigates, Jack decides to go back to his hometown of Turners Fold which is where the victim grew up. We get to meet Jack’s dad who I immediately liked. As Jack delves into the goings-on in Turners Fold, he gets dragged right into the middle of it. I found myself reading larger and larger chunks each time I picked it up, and in the end resigned myself to finishing it in one sitting.

I wouldn’t say this was the best book I have read recently but is certainly one that hooks you on to the series. I found myself getting nearer and nearer to the end and wondering if I should just go straight onto book 2. Sadly my to read list is huge, so book 2 will have to wait. It was a solid debut novel and am really looking forward to getting stuck into the next book.