Dark Game by Rachel Lynch: A Review

I am so pleased that I chose to read Dark Game by Rachel Lynch following Last Cry. After reading the first couple of chapters, I knew it wasn’t another serial killer thriller, but it seemed pretty similar in the beginning. However, a few more chapters in and it became apparent that this was much more than just a detective hunting a murderer. The plot is complex and brilliant, a full 4* for the storyline. I only felt that it occasionally fell short when it came to bits of the characterisation, which I did not feel could be fully explored in some of the characters due to there being so many. Dark Game will be published by Canelo publishing on 29 January 2018.

The Plot

DI Kelly Porter has moved home and is working with her local police force. She has reopened a cold case when she is called in because a man has had a heart attack. She also agrees to investigate a downtrodden foreign woman who has given birth in hospital and cannot speak English. The story begins with the man dying in a hotel room during sex with a prostitute. From this, an entire operation begins to unravel; Kelly soon realises that all of her cases are connected by one person of interest. She proceeds with the investigations to tear down the lives of the dangerous criminals involved.
I really enjoyed the plot; there were turns at every moment, and you could never be certain who was involved and who you could not trust. I enjoyed the exploration of Kelly’s home life and the scenes with Gabriella, who could have been an even stronger character had she been allowed to develop. The use of the third person narrator gave the reader the bird’s eye view, and built the tension, as there was nothing I could do to help. This book is an exciting, fast paced crime thriller.

One part where I felt that Lynch lacked was in the fluidity between chapters. Many of the chapters are very short in this book, which towards the end became easier to read, as they were interconnected, hastening the pace. However, early on, I felt disjointed by the changes between Kelly, Gabriella, Darren and occasionally other detectives. It felt like a sloppy way to deliver the information realistically; Kelly could not be at every location to interview every source, but it could have been relayed to her in a meeting. I do understand that this was done to show the reactions of the characters, which helped me get to know them.

There are a LOT of characters in this book. I feel as though some of them were used as plot devices, such as Lottie’s mother to lead Kelly to her brother, who was conveniently forgotten about later on. In this way, I feel that it would have been good to have had an ending chapter which showed the police explaining what had happened to the interested parties, as I would have liked for Lottie’s mother to get her closure. Altogether, though, I felt that Lynch did a great job getting the information to the reader, not beating around the bush or repeating scenes and conversations. This provided an enjoyable frame to read the book; you cannot read this slowly. The short chapters mean that the reader is given plenty of information and then a moment to take it all in before moving on to another element of the plot.

I would recommend this book to thrill-seekers, and those who love non-gory crime thrillers. I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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