Jonas Holly is the local policeman in Shipcott on the edge of Exmore. It's a sleepy, close-knit community that's about to be shattered by murder, not only the murder of a woman paralysed from the neck down, but a series of murders. Jonas Holly is out of his depth and has to call in Taunton CID to investigate, but there's no trace of the killer and no strangers have been noticed in the village. Then Jonas beings to get notes from the killer taunting him.......
Darkside is a gripping thriller from the writer of Blacklands. In fact, Darkside is set in the same location and a few of Blackland's characters pop up too, including Steven Lamb. I was engrossed from start to finish and there were plenty of twists and turns along the way, including a few shocking ones near the end. The reader has about as much clue who the murderer is as the police in the book do (which isn't much!). One minute you're thinking it's this person and the next you're thinking it's somebody else. By the end of it all you're thinking "Well, I never!".
For those who are squeamish, the murders aren't gory, more emphasis is put on the investigation of the murders than the brutality of them.
Each of the main characters is fully developed and you really feel like you know them as the story goes on. Even the landscape and area is so well described and developed that the reader could probably find their own way around the fictional village.
You don't need to read Blacklands before reading Darkside, but I'd highly recommend reading both books as they are a fantastic read, both together and on their own merit. If you're a fan of murder mysteries, then Darkside is definitely for you.
I'm now eagerly awaiting Belinda Bauer's next book!
Please note: This review is also posted on my blog.