What the blurb says: “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 know. To find the truth they’ll have to listen to the whispers on the streets.”
Every once in a while you read a book that enthrals you, wrapping you up tight inside its world and holding you spellbound throughout the entirety of the story. For me, this is that book.
Set against the backdrop of an atmospheric and familiar, yet at the same time unfamiliar, London, the story is both a gritty police procedure and the story of two people discovering, and learning to accept, who they really are.
DI Jonathan Dark is a unique and fascinating detective, committed and undeniably great at his job, he’s reeling from the break-up of his marriage, the loss of his home, and is struggling with self-acceptance. As the story progresses, and he is offered help on his case from some unexpected sources – ghosts – the world he lives in continues to shift and change, causing him to question all that he believed he knew.
Maria King is an assured young woman who knows a secret London. To her the lack of sight is a gift, and the world without it a rich and sensual place that she knows through sounds and smells and touch. Now that her sight has been restored she wears a blindfold in order to remain in the world that so enchants her. But when she becomes the stalker’s target her sightlessness makes her increasingly vulnerable. Refusing to give in to the stalker’s threat, she works with DI Jonathan Dark and his team to try to discover the stalker’s identity. As her and Jonathan become closer, the stalker gets angry, and those around Maria start to pay the price.
Beautifully written, one of the many things that stand out about this book is the lightness of touch and originality in the prose, and the use of acute observations that gives the everyday a supernatural twist.
Quirkily original, with deeply drawn unique characters and a brutally magical London setting, this story has you traversing all the emotions from darkness to delight with a gut wrenching honesty – rather as if you’ve been kissed and sucker punched all at the same time, but in a good way.
A stunning read. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is, quite simply, marvellous.
JONATHAN DARK OR THE EVIDENCE OF GHOSTS is out today. You can buy it here from Waterstones and here from Amazon.
To find out more about AK Benedict visit her website at www.akbenedict.com and be sure to follow her on Twitter @ak_benedict
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