Hot Best Seller

Dark Objects

Availability: Ready to download

Forensics expert Laughton Rees hunts an unusually clever killer who appears to be staging murder scenes just for her in this twisty new psychological thriller by the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy. How do you catch a killer if the victim doesn't exist? A glamorous woman is murdered in her ultra-luxurious London mansion and her husband goes missing. But according t Forensics expert Laughton Rees hunts an unusually clever killer who appears to be staging murder scenes just for her in this twisty new psychological thriller by the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy. How do you catch a killer if the victim doesn't exist? A glamorous woman is murdered in her ultra-luxurious London mansion and her husband goes missing. But according to public records, neither of them exists. The only leads police have are several objects arranged around the woman's body, including a set of keys and a book called How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees--a book that appears to have helped the killer forensically cleanse the crime scene. Laughton Rees is an academic who doesn't usually work live cases after the brutal murder of her mother as a teen left her traumatized and emotionally scarred. But the presence of her book at this scene draws her unwillingly into the high-profile investigation and media circus that springs up around it. As the dark objects found beside the body lead her closer to the victim's identity, a dangerous threat to Laughton and her daughter emerges, as well as painful memories of her past related to the man she has always blamed for her mother's death: John Rees, Laughton's father, the current Metropolitan Chief Commissioner and a man she has not spoken to in twenty years. Laughton's family was destroyed once and she built herself a new one. Now, she has to face her darkest fears and help catch a killer before this one is destroyed too.


Compare

Forensics expert Laughton Rees hunts an unusually clever killer who appears to be staging murder scenes just for her in this twisty new psychological thriller by the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy. How do you catch a killer if the victim doesn't exist? A glamorous woman is murdered in her ultra-luxurious London mansion and her husband goes missing. But according t Forensics expert Laughton Rees hunts an unusually clever killer who appears to be staging murder scenes just for her in this twisty new psychological thriller by the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy. How do you catch a killer if the victim doesn't exist? A glamorous woman is murdered in her ultra-luxurious London mansion and her husband goes missing. But according to public records, neither of them exists. The only leads police have are several objects arranged around the woman's body, including a set of keys and a book called How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees--a book that appears to have helped the killer forensically cleanse the crime scene. Laughton Rees is an academic who doesn't usually work live cases after the brutal murder of her mother as a teen left her traumatized and emotionally scarred. But the presence of her book at this scene draws her unwillingly into the high-profile investigation and media circus that springs up around it. As the dark objects found beside the body lead her closer to the victim's identity, a dangerous threat to Laughton and her daughter emerges, as well as painful memories of her past related to the man she has always blamed for her mother's death: John Rees, Laughton's father, the current Metropolitan Chief Commissioner and a man she has not spoken to in twenty years. Laughton's family was destroyed once and she built herself a new one. Now, she has to face her darkest fears and help catch a killer before this one is destroyed too.

30 review for Dark Objects

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sujoya

    4.5⭐ Kate Miller is found brutally stabbed to death (presumably with a zombie knife) in her glass-walled mansion overlooking Highgate cemetery and her husband Mike is nowhere to be found. Her body is posed with four strategically placed objects surrounding her. A copy of "How to Process a Murder", a book written by criminologist Laughton Rees, is also found near the body. DCI Tannahill Khan of NoLMS (North London murder squad) is leading the investigation and the search for the missing husband w 4.5⭐ Kate Miller is found brutally stabbed to death (presumably with a zombie knife) in her glass-walled mansion overlooking Highgate cemetery and her husband Mike is nowhere to be found. Her body is posed with four strategically placed objects surrounding her. A copy of "How to Process a Murder", a book written by criminologist Laughton Rees, is also found near the body. DCI Tannahill Khan of NoLMS (North London murder squad) is leading the investigation and the search for the missing husband who is the prime suspect. However, in the course of their investigation into the Millers’ lives the police are unable to find out much about them. It's almost as if they didn’t exist! DCI Khan reaches out to Laughton, a reputed forensics expert, who breaks her own rule to not get involved in active cases and agrees to assist. Laughton is the estranged daughter of the Police Commissioner,with whom she has not spoken in almost twenty years, ever since her mother was brutally murdered. Her mother’s murderer was a pedophile and serial killer who had been arrested but acquitted because the police botched up the investigation, for which Laughton has never forgiven her father. She is now a single mother raising her teenage daughter who is being bullied in school. Though she has a lot on her plate, Laughton agrees to help the police given the presence of her book at the crime scene and the symbolism in the objects discovered with the dead body, the significance of which does not escape her. Unbeknownst to the police or Laughton someone is watching their every move, presumably the killer, and is almost always one step ahead. As the case garners media attention, an ambitious tabloid journalist, Brian Slade, hoping to get ahead of the competition and gain recognition for his efforts is busy conducting his own investigation based on not only tips from his sources within the police department but also the anonymous emails he is receiving with shockingly revealing details about the murder and much more. The larger part of the narrative is shared from the perspectives of DCI Khan, Laughton Rees and Brian Slade, with snippets from messages exchanged within the Highgate Ladies’ Book Club WhatsApp group and excerpts from Laughton’s book. Short chapters, crisp writing and a fast-paced narrative make it easy to keep track of the multiple threads and the large cast of characters in the story. Well-written, with an intriguing murder mystery at its core, lots of twists and turns and an ending that I did not see coming (after another reveal that I could partially predict), Dark Objects by Simon Toyne is an impressive procedural thriller. I would definitely be interested in picking up future books featuring DCI Khan and Laughton Rees.

  2. 4 out of 5

    GirlWithThePinkSkiMask

    Writing: 5/5 | Plot: 4/5 | Ending: 3/5 SYNOPSIS Kate Miller is found brutally murdered and posed with several odd items surrounding her, including a book called How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees. As Laughton is involuntarily brought into the investigation of who Kate Miller really was and where is her husband? MY OPINION This was solid. It reminded me of Look Closer by David Ellis: intelligently written, intricately woven, with unique and distinct characters. I loved the asides with th Writing: 5/5 | Plot: 4/5 | Ending: 3/5 SYNOPSIS Kate Miller is found brutally murdered and posed with several odd items surrounding her, including a book called How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees. As Laughton is involuntarily brought into the investigation of who Kate Miller really was and where is her husband? MY OPINION This was solid. It reminded me of Look Closer by David Ellis: intelligently written, intricately woven, with unique and distinct characters. I loved the asides with the Whatsapp ladies; a clever way to move the plot forward while simultaneously giving us reprieve from the serious stuff. I also felt the characters were well-written, especially Slade. What a piece of shit. As if journalists don't have a bad enough reputation LOL. I liked how the book was broken up in sections that aligned with the items left at the crime scene and led with excerpts from the book. Were the excerpts a little to philosophical and fluffy? Yes. But it foreshadowed that section perfectly. Also, that whole mask with the eyes cut larger was freaky af. No spoilers, but one scene in particular is chilling. FYI suspension of disbelief is required for this Criminal Minds esque story, but the superior writing quality keeps you enthralled. My positive reviews are always quite boring, so let's spice it up with my big complaint: THE ENDING. BRUHHHHH LOL. Once again, that extra twisty twist left a sour taste in my mouth. It would've been better without it. The final twist was contrived and illogical; even with my disbelief suspended, I couldn't let that one slide. And the final action scene was pretty cringworthy too but that's just me. I'm curious to see what others have to say about the final twisty twist after reading it. Some smaller complaints: Laughton's OCD with the number 3 seemed to fade in and out. Was it stress-induced? Idk. Sometimes she couldn't do anything without counting to three and other times she was galavanting a murder scene without a care in the world. Near the end there were some minor plot holes. The repetitive use of "whispered across...", pls use another verb. Sorry folks, a shortish and sweet review. No bad blood with this book. Just an FYI, it's very character driven (lots of focus on Laughton's past and her complex relationship with her daughter). Yes, there's the police procedural aspect, but I think the gold in this book lies in Laughton and even Slade's personal journeys. PROS AND CONS Pros: well-written, unique and distinct characters, intricate plot, creative asides Cons: minor plot holes in the last 20%, final twisty twist was unnecessary and felt forced, Laughton's OCD was inconsistent throughout the book

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    My first read of author Simon Toyne is a thrilling and terrific London set crime read with an all too pertinent social and political commentary. Pakistani-Irish DCI Tannahill Khan (North London Murder Squad) finds himself at a forensically clean, gruesome murder scene at a fortress Highgate Mansion, wealthy Kate Miller has been stabbed with a zombie knife and posed with 4 objects surrounding her, a stuffed unicorn, a couple of medals, set of keys, and a book, How to Process a Murder by Laughton My first read of author Simon Toyne is a thrilling and terrific London set crime read with an all too pertinent social and political commentary. Pakistani-Irish DCI Tannahill Khan (North London Murder Squad) finds himself at a forensically clean, gruesome murder scene at a fortress Highgate Mansion, wealthy Kate Miller has been stabbed with a zombie knife and posed with 4 objects surrounding her, a stuffed unicorn, a couple of medals, set of keys, and a book, How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees (excerpts of which are interspersed in the narrative). The victim's husband, Mike, is missing, becoming the obvious prime suspect, but what is strange is that there is barely any information on the couple who had not really mixed with the locals. Who exactly are they? This is the start of a dark, twisty and tense investigation in which Khan invites Laughton to help as a consultant. At the age of 15, Laughton was left broken and shattered by the brutal murder of her mother by the monster Adrian McVey, for which she blamed her police officer father, now the Police Commissioner, for failing to protect her mother. With her life spiralling out of her control, she overcomes her challenging circumstances when she became a single mother, her daughter, Gracie, driving her to achieve. Estranged from her father all through the years, Laughton is an academic forensics expert at London Metropolitan University, although she has never worked live crime scenes, all this now changes. Her tragic past has shaped her into becoming the over protective mother as she tries to address the problems Gracie is facing at school, efforts which only have Gracie pulling away from her. Laughton works well with Khan in an investigation where there are further murders, and where the past returns to haunt her as she once again becomes the target of a killer. Toyne incorporates WhatsApp groups, online media, and newspaper articles in his riveting story, with its wide cast of characters, including a sleazy tabloid journalist, Brian Slade, of The Daily, who finds himself ahead of the pack with exclusives that come from photographs and information provided by the killer. This is a great crime thriller that I found engrossing, it is packed with suspense and tension, and has some startling twists. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Imagine three floors of a multi million perfectly aligned modern house of glass overlooking Highgate Cemetery through which cleaner Celia Barnes is perfectly framed. Now imagine a masked watcher from the cemetery noting when her cleaning is interrupted by a horrific find and who then vanishes. Celia discovers the body of Kate Miller, brutally murdered, stabbed with a knife, her body then surrounded by objects forming a tableau. Her husband Mike is missing. DCI Tannahill Khan of NoLMS (North Lond Imagine three floors of a multi million perfectly aligned modern house of glass overlooking Highgate Cemetery through which cleaner Celia Barnes is perfectly framed. Now imagine a masked watcher from the cemetery noting when her cleaning is interrupted by a horrific find and who then vanishes. Celia discovers the body of Kate Miller, brutally murdered, stabbed with a knife, her body then surrounded by objects forming a tableau. Her husband Mike is missing. DCI Tannahill Khan of NoLMS (North London murder squad) and an expert on knife crime leads the police investigation. One of the objects at the crime scene is a book “How to process a murder“ by Laughton Rees. Laughton is the daughter of the police commissioner from whom she is estranged and also a well respected forensics professor. Tannahill seeks her advice and Laughton finds her self drawn back into the nightmares of her youth in order to prevent a psychopath from destroying her family again. The gripping novel is told from the perspectives of Tannahill and Laughton as well as a ruthless journalist Brian Slade, interspersed with extracts from Laughtons book, media articles and a local WhatsApp group which works extremely well. This is just a kind of mystery thriller I like, it’s well written, meaty and topical with a fast paced plot and excellent characters. Central to the storyline is rising knife crime and how this is dealt with, for example in the press and by government. This is thought-provoking and pertinent as this concerns us all. Via Tannahill, who is mixed race (a Pakistani father and an Irish mother) there is some racism and through Laughton’s daughter Grace there is serious bullying. I really like both central characters. Tannahill is hard-working,thoughtful, clever and open-minded. Laughton is very complex and becomes a source of fascination with her multiple heavy baggages, she is a boiling pot of grief, anger and loneliness with a need to control especially so she can protect herself and her much loved daughter. The scenes between her and Grace are very authentic, well portrayed and powerful. I love the way this is written, it’s clearly observed and engaging, the plot is well thought out and complex and utterly immersive. Each chapter has drama, many ending on a cliffhanger thus making it feel episodic. It’s a rollercoaster ride of multiple twists some of which are shocking jaw droppers, it’s crammed full of tension and breathtaking suspense as it builds to a dramatic, surprising and emotional end. Overall, this is a terrific crime thriller which has me transfixed and enthralled throughout. I’ve never read this authors books before but won't make that mistake from now on! With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HarperCollins UK/HarperFiction for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    Here I am – once again – stranded on outlier island with my 2.5 rating! In Highgate, one of the poshest suburbs in London, the body of Kate Miller is discovered in her multi-million dollar mansion. She has been stabbed dozens of times, and surrounding her fallen body, are four unusual objects deliberately placed there by her killer. Her husband Mike is supposedly on a yoga retreat in India, but numerous calls to his mobile remain unanswered, and given the house’s fortress-like high security featu Here I am – once again – stranded on outlier island with my 2.5 rating! In Highgate, one of the poshest suburbs in London, the body of Kate Miller is discovered in her multi-million dollar mansion. She has been stabbed dozens of times, and surrounding her fallen body, are four unusual objects deliberately placed there by her killer. Her husband Mike is supposedly on a yoga retreat in India, but numerous calls to his mobile remain unanswered, and given the house’s fortress-like high security features, he is considered to be the main suspect. That is until the investigating officer, DCI Tannahill Khan, realises that one of the objects, a book, is written by university lecturer Laughton Rees, and that it appears Kate’s murderer used information contained within its pages to forensically clean the crime scene. Laughton Rees is also the estranged daughter of Tannahill’s boss – Commissioner John Rees. Furthermore, twenty years ago, the commissioner’s wife was killed by a serial killer, and Laughton (fifteen at the time) witnessed her mother’s murder. Even though that case is closed, could there be a connection to Kate Miller’s brutal stabbing? Tannahill Khan has his work cut out for him. Let me start by raving over the first chapter – I loved the unique POV (that I’m not going to spoil) and how it kept switching to the killer, hiding in the nearby Highgate Cemetery, watching the house. It was so sinister, and perfectly-paced. And, there were other shocking and creepy moments that sent shivers down my spine. The mystery was solid (although not amazing), but I did think the final twist ruined things, as it was completely unbelievable. But, you know how I said the first chapter was perfectly-paced? Well, unfortunately the rest wasn’t – it was slow as, and overly detailed, with lengthy scenes that went on forever. Was it really necessarily to have four chapters where Laughton was researching a better school for her teenage daughter? Or what about the chapter detailing her gym workout? Or, the segment, showing various character’s at home sleeping and dreaming? Honestly, when I’m 53% of the way through a mainly police procedural crime novel, and we’ve only covered one day, and the investigation’s barely made any progress, I know I’m in trouble. This book could easily have shaved off 100 pages, including that ending. It’s a shame, because when something was happening, the writing was great. As were the character’s, when they were in the thick of things furthering the plot. There were numerous POV’s, that I will keep to myself, but I will say that Tannahill and Laughton were the main one’s. The descriptions of murder scenes and crimes committed (some involving children) were pretty graphic, so could be triggering. The first line hooked me in, and after completing chapter one I was sure this was going to be a 4 or 5 star read, like it was for nearly all the readers before me, but sadly it was not meant to be.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pat (on partial hiatus)

    4.5 stars The book opens with the discovery of a shocking murder. Kate Miller is found brutally stabbed to death in her luxury home, she is surrounded by an assortment of strange objects - a stuffed unicorn toy, a couple of old medals on a ribbon, a set of keys and a small book - How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees. DCI Tannahill Khan is the lead investigator. Dr Laughton Rees is a renowned criminologist who also happens to be the daughter of the Commissioner of police. Khan tries to recruit 4.5 stars The book opens with the discovery of a shocking murder. Kate Miller is found brutally stabbed to death in her luxury home, she is surrounded by an assortment of strange objects - a stuffed unicorn toy, a couple of old medals on a ribbon, a set of keys and a small book - How to Process a Murder by Laughton Rees. DCI Tannahill Khan is the lead investigator. Dr Laughton Rees is a renowned criminologist who also happens to be the daughter of the Commissioner of police. Khan tries to recruit Laughton as a consultant on the case. She is reluctant but when it becomes apparent that she will not be left alone she reluctantly agrees. Laughton is estranged from her father since the death of her mother at the hands of the Masked Monster when she was 15. She blamed her father and has had nothing to do with him since. The killer, McVey, was eventually caught and imprisoned and has since died but current events are bringing his name back into the public eye as journalist Brian Slade ruthlessly chases the story. Kate’s husband, Mike Miller, is nowhere to be found and is the chief suspect until he is also found dead in a similar tableau to his wife. After that the pace of the story goes nuts. And it seems that Laughton is central to whatever is going on. The story starts to take on really dark overtones and there is a sense of creeping menace as Laughton and her 15 year old daughter, Grace, appear to be in extreme danger. But things are not as they seem. The Millers are not really the Millers and the killer is not who you think they are either. The ending is a jaw dropper and I’m sure that the killer’s intentions got out of control. Laughton, who for so long had sought anonymity and sough to shelter her daughter found the strength to face her demons and finally be open with Grace. Khan was a wonderful professional character who is the sort of person you would want in a police officer. The writing was excellent and kept me glued to the pages throughout. I would be keen to read more from this author. Many thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the much anticipated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    A wealthy woman with a mysterious past is found stabbed to death in her home, the body has been meticulously arranged and her husband is missing. Laughton Rees is a professor and forensics expert. She deals exclusively with old cases, but when her forensics textbook is left at the scene of the murder she seems to be the obvious choice to hire as a consultant Laughton’s estranged father is the Metropolitan Chief Commissioner, who Laughton believes was responsible for the murder of her mother. Laug A wealthy woman with a mysterious past is found stabbed to death in her home, the body has been meticulously arranged and her husband is missing. Laughton Rees is a professor and forensics expert. She deals exclusively with old cases, but when her forensics textbook is left at the scene of the murder she seems to be the obvious choice to hire as a consultant Laughton’s estranged father is the Metropolitan Chief Commissioner, who Laughton believes was responsible for the murder of her mother. Laughton also has a fraught relationship with her teenaged daughter. We are told that Laughton has an exceptional talent for observation. Unfortunately for the book, she seems to miss a lot and doesn’t really add anything to the investigation. All of the fact finding and deduction is very capably done by the police. It also helps them that the murderer keeps leaving behind evidence and sending a tabloid reporter clues. Brief parts of the book are from the pov of the murderer. I really should have paid more attention to those parts, because I had no idea who the murderer was until the big reveal at the end. What I see as giant plot holes may well have been explained somewhere and I just missed it. The ending was also a little too tidy for me. Those are merely quibbles and I did enjoy tracking through the red herrings as the police followed the clues. This is the second book that I’ve read by this author and I have enjoyed each of them. “The Searcher” was more unusual than this book (it features a barefoot amnesiac stranded in a strange town), but that intended series seems to have fizzled out. “Dark Objects” is a standalone, but there is certainly room for a sequel if the author chooses. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Nelson

    1 star: ⭐️ Thank you, NetGalley, for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm about to do something I really don't like to do: give a book one star. Unfortunately, I felt really backed into a corner on this one, and I just ended up having a pretty poor reading experience. As always, with reviews of this kind, I want to note that my rating is simply the opinion of one person, and there will certainly be people out there who enjoy the story. I firmly believe that 1 star: ⭐️ Thank you, NetGalley, for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm about to do something I really don't like to do: give a book one star. Unfortunately, I felt really backed into a corner on this one, and I just ended up having a pretty poor reading experience. As always, with reviews of this kind, I want to note that my rating is simply the opinion of one person, and there will certainly be people out there who enjoy the story. I firmly believe that every book has an ideal audience that will love it, but as much as I wanted to be a part of that audience, I am not. My main issue ended up being the predictability of the story, in which case every "reveal" was actually something I guessed long before. I think much of this had to do with the fact that the author clearly had a bone to pick with a certain political party. I'm not naïve. I know modern politics are included in a lot of books, no matter the genre. But I think those points can be included while also surprising the reader by not making the "bad guy" the most obvious person possible. I was really hoping for a grand surprise at the end, and for a moment I thought I got one. Then, there was a further surprise that ended up being exactly who I had pegged as the ultimate villain from about 10 percent of the way through, simply from gleaning the author's political leaning. (A bit of a bummer.) I also found many of the characters unlikable. There was such a focus, by everyone, even the main characters I was probably supposed to like, on the color of people's skin, that I found it difficult to form any kind of connection with them. When the anti-gun, anti-violence, (stereotypical "girlboss") white female protagonist has a whole inner monologue about whether a man is Asian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi-Irish (or something like that), while there's a dead person out there, I find it hard to sympathize or understand her train of thought. All in all, I can honestly say this is not the book for me, but I do hope it finds its way into the right circles. My Blog | My Books | Instagram | Pinterest

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    Veteran bestselling author Simon Toyne brings us several twists in his new mystery, DARK OBJECTS. Pay attention as there's a lot going on in this clever story that includes gruesome murders, puzzling clues, dead people with no background, and an expert on crime who was a victim of horrible violence herself. Detective Chief Inspector Tannahill Khan might have dark skin, but his eyes are as blue as the Irish sky from where his mother hails. We quickly learn that bigotry and prejudice have no border Veteran bestselling author Simon Toyne brings us several twists in his new mystery, DARK OBJECTS. Pay attention as there's a lot going on in this clever story that includes gruesome murders, puzzling clues, dead people with no background, and an expert on crime who was a victim of horrible violence herself. Detective Chief Inspector Tannahill Khan might have dark skin, but his eyes are as blue as the Irish sky from where his mother hails. We quickly learn that bigotry and prejudice have no borders, and Khan is familiar with being taunted and disrespected for his additional melatonin. Laughton Rees, on the other hand, has her own demons. She is the daughter of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner but has not spoken to him in decades. Her mother was brutally murdered by an individual who had been arrested by her father but released via the legal machinations of his attorney. She teaches criminology and writes about crime, but she always safely studies older crimes from a distant point of view and never works live cases. When a lovely blonde is found dead, viciously murdered in a carefully curated scene, Khan is called to the site of the slaying. One of the items next to the body is a book on processing crime scenes written by Rees. This serves to bring Rees and Khan together, and he convinces her that since she is already a part of the investigation, she might as well consult on the case. The murdered woman's husband has disappeared, so he becomes a suspect. All that is known about the couple is that they live in an extremely wealthy area of London at the edge of a cemetery, their house is devoid of any clues as to their real identity, and they have no friends or social media. They are themselves mysteries. What ensues is the tortuous trail that Rees, Khan and others follow to find the killer. There are surprises throughout, including the eventual identity of the couple. We are given insight into Rees' traumatic past after the murder of her mother, and we can't help but admire who she has become. Rees’ teenage daughter, Gracie, is rebellious, and she can't figure out how to communicate with her. Especially surprising is what Toyne does at the end of the novel, brilliantly upending everything we think we know in the first two-thirds of the story. The twist is huge, and it makes us ponder just what darkness people are capable of in the name of love. In DARK OBJECTS, we see the worst of humanity, but we also see the best of it as we appreciatively witness forgiveness and hope. Reviewed by Pamela Kramer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    Absolutely stellar read! I read this in 3 days, with working 2 of those days- just to give you an idea of how much I devoured this. This is the combination of everything I love in a thriller- hooked from the first page, a variety of perspectives like the police detectives and the witnesses, different formats (like text message groups) and a gripping, thrilling plot. I inhaled it. This book has put Toyne onto my automatic list! Seriously good stuff. LOVED it. Just read it. You'll thank me. Absolutely stellar read! I read this in 3 days, with working 2 of those days- just to give you an idea of how much I devoured this. This is the combination of everything I love in a thriller- hooked from the first page, a variety of perspectives like the police detectives and the witnesses, different formats (like text message groups) and a gripping, thrilling plot. I inhaled it. This book has put Toyne onto my automatic list! Seriously good stuff. LOVED it. Just read it. You'll thank me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne Dragovcic

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. RTC. Not sure how I feel about this one yet. 1.5 Stars? This book had so much potential yet it took a sophomoric NOSE DIVE at the end. My primary issue with this book is the need for a transplant. Transplant tropes are a 🚫 for me. Knowing several close people to me who’ve had them and watched what they’ve endured during the years, it’s not the happy ending authors make it out to be. It can be a devastating and scary road to recovery. Life is not the same. It can be wonderful but most of us have n RTC. Not sure how I feel about this one yet. 1.5 Stars? This book had so much potential yet it took a sophomoric NOSE DIVE at the end. My primary issue with this book is the need for a transplant. Transplant tropes are a 🚫 for me. Knowing several close people to me who’ve had them and watched what they’ve endured during the years, it’s not the happy ending authors make it out to be. It can be a devastating and scary road to recovery. Life is not the same. It can be wonderful but most of us have no idea what it’s like to worry about organ rejection everyday. ⬆️⬆️ That said, once the author inserted this strange, plot hole filler slow suicide attempt, it ruined the book. The ending was mostly predictable. We knew she’d need a liver and we knew her dad was sick and that he would be killed off somehow and the liver would be used. H O W E V E R, He had cardiomyopathy and it’s more likely his organs wouldn’t have been health enough to donate. A good friend of ours had a heart transplant six years ago. We have seen what he went thru before diagnosis (his organs shutting down) and after surgery. The amount of daily medications required too, just spoil this plot hole. THE KILLER REALLLLLYYY?????? Such a huge build up in the beginning to be spoon fed pieces with a convenient killer and ending. So. Not. Cool. I liked the characters. I liked connecting the dots (the pace could have been so much faster). That ending just ranked the whole book, for me. I’ll try another book by this author and see how that goes. There’s so many good possibilities here

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    A beautiful women is found murdered in her secluded Highgate mansion but where is her husband? What is the meaning of the objects posed around the body. A young women is the victim of a hit and run and is now being stalked why? This is only the beginning. A real workout for the grey matter which I found very hard to put down. So much misdirection which made me dizzy. A really well thought out crime thriller and so much more. Masterful storytelling which kept me reading late into the night. Highl A beautiful women is found murdered in her secluded Highgate mansion but where is her husband? What is the meaning of the objects posed around the body. A young women is the victim of a hit and run and is now being stalked why? This is only the beginning. A real workout for the grey matter which I found very hard to put down. So much misdirection which made me dizzy. A really well thought out crime thriller and so much more. Masterful storytelling which kept me reading late into the night. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily Christopher

    Dark Objects ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Mystery Fiction Format: Kindle eBook Date Published: 7/12/22 Author: Simon Toyne Publisher: William Morrow Pages: 400 Goodreads Rating: 4.15 TW ⚠️: Aspects of racism and bullying. I requested a digital advanced readers copy from NetGalley and William Morrow and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased. Synopsis: When she was fifteen years old, Laughton Rees witnessed the brutal murder of her mother by a masked killer—and barely escape with her own life. Now a successfu Dark Objects ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Mystery Fiction Format: Kindle eBook Date Published: 7/12/22 Author: Simon Toyne Publisher: William Morrow Pages: 400 Goodreads Rating: 4.15 TW ⚠️: Aspects of racism and bullying. I requested a digital advanced readers copy from NetGalley and William Morrow and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased. Synopsis: When she was fifteen years old, Laughton Rees witnessed the brutal murder of her mother by a masked killer—and barely escape with her own life. Now a successful forensics professor, Laughton’s focused on her daughter and her work—but the past isn’t done with her. When Laughton’s book about criminal investigation is found at the scene of a violent murder, the Met police officer in charge of the case asks for her help. The crime scene has some disturbingly personal elements for Laughton, and she can’t shake the feeling that someone is sending her a message. After all these years, has the monster who murdered her mother come back for her? My Thoughts: The story is narrated by Laughton, Khan (DCI leading investigation), and Slade (ruthless tabloid reporter), from their own perspectives. The characters are so well developed with layers of depth, yet mysterious, emotional, and intriguing. The author’s writing style was chilling, suspenseful, twisty, complex, and the storyline builds with tension and a twisty plot that has complex layers. I loved how each chapter ends in cliffhanger, drawing you to immediately proceed to the next chapter, regardless if it is 2am. A twisty, fast paced, page turning novel from Toyne that will keep you absorbed from cover to cover. While a plot is always important to a thrilling read, this novel not only has a great plot but focuses on the characters. This is my first read from Toyne but will not be my last, I really enjoyed this author’s writing style and will be reading more from Toyne. I highly recommend that you preorder this book that releases on Tuesday!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    Dark Objects was a great new direction for Simon Toyne. I loved the characters, especially Tannahill Khan as well as Laughton Rees. They were eclectic without being overly depressing and I appreciated that. The scene toward the end in the hospital was a bit over-reaching and unbelievable but, you know, it's fiction and I can live with that but it is the reason for four stars rather than five. Otherwise, I absolutely loved the book and hope it is the start of a new series. Dark Objects was a great new direction for Simon Toyne. I loved the characters, especially Tannahill Khan as well as Laughton Rees. They were eclectic without being overly depressing and I appreciated that. The scene toward the end in the hospital was a bit over-reaching and unbelievable but, you know, it's fiction and I can live with that but it is the reason for four stars rather than five. Otherwise, I absolutely loved the book and hope it is the start of a new series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aparna

    I don't know I didn't care about any of them for first half. The objects in the crime scene were interesting but by the end they all... kind of fizzled away?? I don't know I didn't care about any of them for first half. The objects in the crime scene were interesting but by the end they all... kind of fizzled away??

  16. 4 out of 5

    McBreakneck

    Dark Objects - Simon Toyne I've not read this author before, but when M.W.Craven tells you this is his favourite book so far this year, you rush to read it. A tense killer thriller, with a meticulous killer who doesn't leave a trace, but carefully places cryptic objects as clues around the brutally slaughtered victim. I was grabbed from the start. I loved the style of writing. The main characters Criminology academic Dr Laughton Rees, (who immerses herself in studying historical crime scenes to blo Dark Objects - Simon Toyne I've not read this author before, but when M.W.Craven tells you this is his favourite book so far this year, you rush to read it. A tense killer thriller, with a meticulous killer who doesn't leave a trace, but carefully places cryptic objects as clues around the brutally slaughtered victim. I was grabbed from the start. I loved the style of writing. The main characters Criminology academic Dr Laughton Rees, (who immerses herself in studying historical crime scenes to blot out her own past) and DCI Tannahil Khan make a great team, and I hope there'll be more to come. Imagine Michael Robotham quality characterisation with the cold, slightly detached style of Will Carver and the urgent threat and tension of TV's Luther or A.A.Dhand's Harry Virdee series. It's a powerful and winning combination. I raced through it, and couldn't stop thinking about it when not reading. Overall it excels on the characters and style, rather than the plot, but a thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended read. 4.5⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK

  17. 4 out of 5

    First Clue

    Readers will wish that this standalone were the first in a series (though Toyne has written series that readers can fall back on, such as the Sanctus Trilogy). The book starts with a single killing, a seeming locked-room affair, as a woman is discovered murdered in her fortress-like London home that requires fingerprint and facial-recognition access. Her husband is nowhere to be found and is the obvious suspect, but adding perhaps a red herring, perhaps a path to follow, several objects are plac Readers will wish that this standalone were the first in a series (though Toyne has written series that readers can fall back on, such as the Sanctus Trilogy). The book starts with a single killing, a seeming locked-room affair, as a woman is discovered murdered in her fortress-like London home that requires fingerprint and facial-recognition access. Her husband is nowhere to be found and is the obvious suspect, but adding perhaps a red herring, perhaps a path to follow, several objects are placed around the body. One of them is a forensic-science manual, How to Process a Murder, which is by the police chief’s estranged daughter, Laughton Rees. Following the grisly opening, the tale continues with chapters presenting perspectives from Laughton, who as a child survived an attack by a serial killer and has never been the same; nervous, kind-hearted Pakistani-Irish cop Tannehill Khan, who soon finds that the crime stats he dreaded presenting to the press are the least of his problems; and a sleazy tabloid journalist who revels in the three Ms: murder, mystery, and money. The wish for a series mainly comes from observing the Tannehill and Laughton characters, who are both burdened with far too much and believe in themselves far too little. The taut and terrifying ending doesn’t hurt either.—Henrietta Verma, First Clue For more reviews of forthcoming Crime Fiction, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, First Clue: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/First...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    First a Goodreads note. For some reason this is tagged Solomon Creed 3 (at time of writing this review) and it isn't it is the authors new standalone psychological thriller. Dark Objects is a pacy page turner featuring two terrific main protagonists and a darkly observant murder mystery that is gripping throughout. It is also somewhat of a family drama and obvious underlying political and social commentary so it is an intriguing read on more than one level. The outcome is unpredictable enough to First a Goodreads note. For some reason this is tagged Solomon Creed 3 (at time of writing this review) and it isn't it is the authors new standalone psychological thriller. Dark Objects is a pacy page turner featuring two terrific main protagonists and a darkly observant murder mystery that is gripping throughout. It is also somewhat of a family drama and obvious underlying political and social commentary so it is an intriguing read on more than one level. The outcome is unpredictable enough to keep you turning the pages. If I had one bugbear it would be the main character having a paragraph where he turns his attention to a crime that isn't in the headlines rather than the rich white people one that is the focus of the story - and in effect giving the reader a lecture on how all crime is important not just those the media choose to cover - then the victim of this crime is forgotten again pretty much and maybe that's realistic but I would have liked the courage of convictions even if this was simply via throwaway comment at the end saying the detective was now off to solve it. But that's me. Overall a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Read it all in one go in fact.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I absolutely fell in love with this book it was such a good read and wonderfully written. The two main characters Laughton and Tannahill are what made the read so brilliant for me I thought they were both so real and likeable and I do hope that Simon Toyne will write another book featuring these two I feel there is so much more to know about them so fingers crossed for that. The plot was a real page turner and kept me gripped, the final reveal was mind blowing and I hadn’t seen it coming at all a I absolutely fell in love with this book it was such a good read and wonderfully written. The two main characters Laughton and Tannahill are what made the read so brilliant for me I thought they were both so real and likeable and I do hope that Simon Toyne will write another book featuring these two I feel there is so much more to know about them so fingers crossed for that. The plot was a real page turner and kept me gripped, the final reveal was mind blowing and I hadn’t seen it coming at all and for me that’s always a thrill. So a book that had everything I love in a thriller and as I say I do so hope for a follow up it’s one I would highly recommend but be warned it’s a hard one to put down ! My thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK, Harper Fiction for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ray Moon

    I Often Try A New Author — This Was A Grand Slam Early on a Monday morning, a cleaning lady arrives to work at a highly secure private residence. She checks the garage, and both of the Millers’ cars are there. She starts her cleaning routine. When she enters the living room. She notices blood everywhere and something on the floor. She calls the police. While the house is highly secure, the back side of the house is almost entirely glass. What the cleaning lady did not know is that the perpetrator I Often Try A New Author — This Was A Grand Slam Early on a Monday morning, a cleaning lady arrives to work at a highly secure private residence. She checks the garage, and both of the Millers’ cars are there. She starts her cleaning routine. When she enters the living room. She notices blood everywhere and something on the floor. She calls the police. While the house is highly secure, the back side of the house is almost entirely glass. What the cleaning lady did not know is that the perpetrator was watching her the whole time from a cemetery right behind the residence. The action shifts to DCI Tannahill Khan to investigate. He is the North London Murder Squad’s lead knife attack expert. This novel’s main storyline is the one of the most complex and enjoyable that I have read. The novel has seven main storyline threads. In numerous chapters, the narrator’s voice changes. These are harbingers of a novel that is difficult to read and follow. That was not the case here. I had zero problems following the action in this novel. The complexity is demonstrated by the status at the start of the investigation. The woman was murdered in a high security residence without any alarm activity. The woman’s body is staged with numerous objects around her. One of them is a book about how to process a crime scene written by the estranged daughter of the Commissioner of Police. The husband is missing. Both of them do not have a history. The residence is owned by an offshore company that also pays all the bills. From there, this novel proceeds in a most intriguing way. There are what I call literary tropical storms that lead up to a category five hurricane in the storyline. My attention was riveted to finishing reading this novel as soon as possible. The B-storyline is just as complex and equally enjoyable to read. The major thread is that of Laughton Rees. Her thread is extensive in covering her relationship with her father, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police, and her daughter. Much of this thread also is part of main storyline thread of the investigation as her joints it. DCI Khan’s background was more conventional. His actions, thoughts, and conversations with his mother, superiors and his team. The B-storyline really enrichen my reading enjoyment. For the aspects that cause some readers to stop. I rate intimacy a green flag — no issues at all. Language is more rude than vulgar and earns a yellow-green flag. This flag also includes the British equivalents. Violence is described both clinical versus emotional. There is some violence described in the more edgy as it occurs. None of these aspects should be an issue for most readers. The author is British with the novel set in London, so some of the British informal chased me to the Internet to determine the meeting. I did not find anything that I disliked or irritated me while reading this novel. There was plenty that I liked. This is the first novel I have read that used social media more than just texting. The Highgate Ladies’ Book Club WhatsApp group added a delightful touch to the novel. I counted nine different voices of narration. I did not find this man confusing, but it actually provided me a very detailed insight into the novel. Lastly, the B-storyline thread on Laughton Rees kept my interest peaked, and I felt that I couldn’t wait until the thread resumed just as I did for the main storyline threads. I cannot remember this happening before. All of these aspects kept my interest in the novel all the way to the end. I could not stop reading until late every night and read some more when I woke in the morning. I selected to read this novel as I was looking for a new author to try. I was greatly pleased with this selection. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. While I would like to read at least one more novel, I am fairly confident that it too will confirm this author being in my Must-Read category of authors. I strongly recommend reading this novel. I rate it with five stars. I received a free e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from William Morrow. My review is based only by my own reading experience of this book. I wish to thank William Morrow for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I really hope that this is going to be the first book in a series. The author has developed two fantastic characters . Dr Laughton Rees and DCI Tannahill Khan as the lead investigator. This book has you gripped from the very start. A woman found murdered in a luxury mansion. Near her body is a book by Dr Lees.. Who is this dead woman and where is her husband who is obviously the prime suspect for her murder. As we begin the investigation more comes to light on Laughtons past and her estranged fat I really hope that this is going to be the first book in a series. The author has developed two fantastic characters . Dr Laughton Rees and DCI Tannahill Khan as the lead investigator. This book has you gripped from the very start. A woman found murdered in a luxury mansion. Near her body is a book by Dr Lees.. Who is this dead woman and where is her husband who is obviously the prime suspect for her murder. As we begin the investigation more comes to light on Laughtons past and her estranged father. Could her life also be in danger? This is a great police procedural story which will hold your attention until the shock of the ending. I imagine this book would also be very good translated onto the television Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to see an ARC

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Shaw

    "A murder is like a slow explosion. It starts off small, a single act of violence. But very soon the consequences of this singular act start to spread, like ripples on a pond, ever widening until they can stretch as far as the horizon all around." When cleaner Celia Barnes arrives at the Miller’s London Mansion it seems like any other work day. Then she sees the blood on the walls and finds the body of Kate Miller, splayed out like a crucifixion with four strange objects positioned around her. D "A murder is like a slow explosion. It starts off small, a single act of violence. But very soon the consequences of this singular act start to spread, like ripples on a pond, ever widening until they can stretch as far as the horizon all around." When cleaner Celia Barnes arrives at the Miller’s London Mansion it seems like any other work day. Then she sees the blood on the walls and finds the body of Kate Miller, splayed out like a crucifixion with four strange objects positioned around her. DCI Tannerhill Khan is called in to investigate and links are soon made to forensic analyst Laughton Rees. Laughton never works live cases but Tannerhill tries to convince her to help with the investigation. When further links to her traumatic past are discovered and it seems that she and her daughter are in danger, Laughton must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect them from a killer. I love a dark, sinister, twist-filled thriller, so as soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. It was my first time reading any of Simon Toyne’s books and it did not disappoint. Cunningly crafted, fast-paced and brimming with tension, this well-written thriller had my heart racing from the first chapter and I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Tonye kept me guessing as he intricately wove things together, ensuring all of the twisty threads collide in surprising ways. "She feels sick, like the darkest chapter of her life is re-emerging from the place she buried it, that death and danger are being brought to her door and, yet again, her father is the cause of it." The story is told from multiple points of view using mixed media. Not only do we get characters narrating the story but also included are extracts from news articles, snippets of WhatsApp conversations and extracts from Laughton Rees book, How To Process a Murder, which was left at the feet of Kate Miller’s body. The author has filled the story with a mix of flawed, shady and very real characters who are fascinating to read. Some are easy to like while others I couldn’t stand but with each one Tonye makes you feel all of their emotions and confront the shades of grey that motivate their actions. The parts narrated by the killer are also some of the most chilling and nerve-shredding pages I’ve ever read and I liked that he crafted a complex killer, someone who is violent, rage-filled, frenzied and chaotic yet calm and ordered enough to create something so elaborately staged. It not only made the story more interesting but is a masterclass in thriller writing. A suspenseful, intelligent and compelling thriller that packs a punch, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a darker thriller.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    Having read The Sanctus Trilogy I was looking forward to this new book and it’s a great read. A woman is found murdered in her home and when the Police arrive, they realise some strange objects have been placed around her body. One of these items is a book by forensic professor, Laughton Rees. DCI Tannahil contacts Laughton and asks her opinion on the crime scene. Whilst she doesn’t normally work on live cases, this one pulls her in. This is a gripping crime thriller with several layers that def Having read The Sanctus Trilogy I was looking forward to this new book and it’s a great read. A woman is found murdered in her home and when the Police arrive, they realise some strange objects have been placed around her body. One of these items is a book by forensic professor, Laughton Rees. DCI Tannahil contacts Laughton and asks her opinion on the crime scene. Whilst she doesn’t normally work on live cases, this one pulls her in. This is a gripping crime thriller with several layers that definitely kept me guessing who the killer was. Thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    bookishcharli

    I really liked this one! I read this book in one sitting because I just struggled to put it down, I don’t think I ate (or went to the bathroom) for the 9 hours it took me to get through this one. The plot was gripping, and while I did see a few of the reveals coming it didn’t take anything away from the story! Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me a copy!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    This a completely new author to me and I’ll definitely be checking out the back catalogue after reading this. A great locked room mystery with two really good lead protagonists in Khan and Rees. Brilliantly written with an unusual plotline I thought this was an original read and one I couldn’t put down. Written from a number of different POV’s and in a number of ‘media’ such as social media and excerpts from Rees’ book. Briefly, Celia Barney, the cleaner for the Miller family, finds Kate Miller This a completely new author to me and I’ll definitely be checking out the back catalogue after reading this. A great locked room mystery with two really good lead protagonists in Khan and Rees. Brilliantly written with an unusual plotline I thought this was an original read and one I couldn’t put down. Written from a number of different POV’s and in a number of ‘media’ such as social media and excerpts from Rees’ book. Briefly, Celia Barney, the cleaner for the Miller family, finds Kate Miller brutally murdered. DCI Tannahill Khan is called in to investigate and on entering the crime scene notices that around the body there are 4 unusual objects including a book which was written by the estranged daughter of the Met Police Commissioner. Forensic expert Dr Laughton Rees, the author of the book, joins with Khan to help solve the mystery, a mystery that seems to have links to her own past. Loved the pace of this book and the number of different stories which all came together seamlessly and most certainly I did not foresee the startling climax. Definitely recommended reading and ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mehva

    This is a very intelligent police procedural, there were moments that were a little slow, but overall the slow burn, the piece by piece of information. The overlapping storylines make sense. The main characters were very likeable and smart. It wasn't predictable and kept me guessing until the very end. Very good book This is a very intelligent police procedural, there were moments that were a little slow, but overall the slow burn, the piece by piece of information. The overlapping storylines make sense. The main characters were very likeable and smart. It wasn't predictable and kept me guessing until the very end. Very good book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    I am at a loss for words.... This does not happen often . Simon Toyne, you are a twisted twisted man and I love every bit of it. Dark Objects, is not the typical type of thriller I would choose for myself. I avoid police procedurals because I find them to be boring and repetitive. I want to read a book from the eyes of the villain or victim but never from a third party. Well, there is a first time for everything..... I absolutely loved this book! I devoured it in one sitting and I could not stop I am at a loss for words.... This does not happen often . Simon Toyne, you are a twisted twisted man and I love every bit of it. Dark Objects, is not the typical type of thriller I would choose for myself. I avoid police procedurals because I find them to be boring and repetitive. I want to read a book from the eyes of the villain or victim but never from a third party. Well, there is a first time for everything..... I absolutely loved this book! I devoured it in one sitting and I could not stop thinking about it long after I concluded! You can tell Toyne, did his research. The plot was executed with precision. The characters were all layered and well developed and the twist was on point and hit like no other. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy police procedurals but even if you don't I would still give it a try !

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, William Morrow and by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. Wonderful fast-paced, crime thriller that would make a delightful ongoing series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    If you like a sharp, stunningly plotted, locked room mystery then you need to be reading Dark Objects. Simple as that. They don't come much better than this. Complex, twisted and with an ending that completely threw me, I was pulled into the book from the very beginning, taken in by the characters and the overwhelming sense of mystery that enshrouded the case, and I devoured the book. It was another of those 'why haven't I read this author's books before' moments. And although this is billed as If you like a sharp, stunningly plotted, locked room mystery then you need to be reading Dark Objects. Simple as that. They don't come much better than this. Complex, twisted and with an ending that completely threw me, I was pulled into the book from the very beginning, taken in by the characters and the overwhelming sense of mystery that enshrouded the case, and I devoured the book. It was another of those 'why haven't I read this author's books before' moments. And although this is billed as as standalone thriller, if ever the author decided to expand upon it, the styling, and the characters, certainly lend themselves to a return engagement. Both investigating officer, DCI Tannahill Kahn, and university lecturer, Laughton Rees are people I felt at ease with very quickly. True, it's fair to say that Laughton has a few ... quirks of character, but the more we learn about her, the more sensible and understandable those traits become. She's a very dedicated mother, even if relations with her daughter are complicated, but also a very intelligent and logical woman who comes to play a key part in solving this most complicated of cases. As for Khan, there is a quiet determination about him that I liked. A kind of patience and understanding nature and a natural chemistry with Laughton that makes them a great team. I was intrigued by their methods, pulled into the sphere of their investigations, and enjoyed seeing them working through the logistics and possibilities of this seemingly impossible murder, very carefully and cunningly plotted by the author. The book is packed with mystery, and an underlying tension that starts building from the very first page. There is a very ominous feeling to the opening scenes, and although we don't 'see' the carnage that is found, there is no doubting that sense of the impossible as the cleaner slowly and methodically works her way through a veritable fortress. A home protected by so much security it beggars belief that anyone could penetrate the defences to wreak havoc on the people who live within. And yet ... well that's precisely what happens, and with the tension ramped up to the max and a skin-crawling voyeuristic nature to the first chapter you realise that just anything could happen. I loved the uncertainty and that is cast upon this case from the very start. Every intricate detail is very carefully managed, although it never feels it. We are fed exactly the right amount of information at just the right moment, the author balancing the confusion and the intrigue perfectly. I wanted to know why the killer seemed intent to bring Laughton into the case. What the motives were with regards to that almost as much as for the murder. There was a very obvious suspect from the start, but was that solution a little too perfect? The more Simon Toyne reveals to readers, the more elaborate and confusing the case became. Part of me expected the worst, guessed that in a story this brilliantly bewildering, that the easy answer couldn't possibly be the truth. Or could it? The more we learnt about the victims the more my feelings about the whole book changed, and my suspicions about who may be responsible. As for motive - what would drive someone to murder a woman in such a violent and elaborate way? Well, that takes time to come to the fore but, if I'm honest, did nothing to help me identify a killer who remained elusive until the very last. I loved all the little touches about the book and the characters, The gossipy nature of the neighbours, whos hunger for the salacious gossip was only moderately masked by their faux shock and horror at the turn of events. The little affectations of Laughton's character and what sits behind them, and her fierce, if misjudged, defence of her daughter. Even the quiet moments when we get a taste of Khan's personal life all add a touch of humanity to the story, keeping it very grounded in reality and as a result, scarily plausible no matter how impossible it may all seem. Dark, twisted and complex, Dark Objects is an edge of the seat thriller that had me completely riveted from start to finish. I was absorbed by the plotting, the story and the characters and would love to see them again. Most definitely recommended. Fans of proper, multi-faceted and suspenseful mysteries need to get this on their to be read shelf and fast.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Objects. I haven’t seen anything that indicates this is the first in a series, but I hope it is. Dark Objects is a combination psychological thriller and police procedural, and I need a new police procedural series to read. The book introduces a large number of characters, and the narrative also serves as a commentary on how society reacts to violence close to home. The “dark objects” refer to items placed around first one, then two murder victims in a very deliberative I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Objects. I haven’t seen anything that indicates this is the first in a series, but I hope it is. Dark Objects is a combination psychological thriller and police procedural, and I need a new police procedural series to read. The book introduces a large number of characters, and the narrative also serves as a commentary on how society reacts to violence close to home. The “dark objects” refer to items placed around first one, then two murder victims in a very deliberative fashion. The structure of the plot walks us through the significance of the items. Tannahill Khan, the Detective Chief Inspector in charge of the case, is half Irish, half Pakistani. His arresting looks don’t protect him from racist comments and behavior. Laughton Rees, the forensics expert whose book called How to Process a Murder is one of the “dark objects,” is an extremely traumatized survivor of violence. After living on the streets, becoming an addict, and having a child as a teenager, she became a respected academic. But the trauma is always just under the surface of her life. Both Tannahill and Laughton are interesting characters with a lot of room to grow in future books, if there are any. Other characters include a sleazy and sexist reporter with an ax to grind, Laughton’s troubled teenaged daughter, Laughton’s estranged father (the current Metropolitan Chief Commissioner), and the house cleaner who found the first body. The author seems to know what he is talking about as far as crime scene procedures and crime scenes go. Most of my knowledge comes from watching CSI and reading police procedurals, but it all seemed to make sense to me. The author did a great job keeping my interest in the characters and the crime. I especially loved the climactic ending. This is my first book by Simon Toyne but I predict it will not be my last. I read an advance reader copy of Dark Objects from Netgalley. Dark Objects is scheduled to be published on July 12, and the Galesburg Public Library will own it in print and digital.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...