Today’s book review of a crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey.
The Woman In Black by Kerry Wilkinson
Synopsis: Someone has left a severed hand in the centre of Manchester and the only clue Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel has to go on is CCTV footage of a woman in a long black robe placing it carefully on the ground. With a lengthy missing persons list and frantic families wondering if the body part could belong to their absent loved ones, she has plenty to deal with – and that’s before a detached finger arrives for her in the post. By the time a second hand is found and a local MP’s wife goes missing, Jessica is left struggling to find out who the appendages belong to, how they are connected and just what the mysterious woman in black has to do with it all.
Author bio (from Amazon): Despite two British national newspaper reports to the contrary, Kerry Wilkinson is male. Honestly. His debut, Locked In, the first in the detective Jessica Daniel series, is a UK no.1 Kindle bestseller, with the first three Jessica Daniel books making him Amazon UK’s top-selling author for the final quarter of 2011. Think Of The Children came out in February 2013, outselling Dan Brown to become Amazon UK’s no.1 Kindle pre-order, making the top 10 crime ebooks, and entering the official top 20 paperback chart. Kerry is the first formerly self-published British author to have an ebook no.1 and reach the top 20 of the UK paperback chart. With Playing With Fire, Thicker Than Water, Behind Closed Doors and standalone dark thriller, Watched, Kerry has had eight consecutive top-20 UK Kindle crime books. In July 2014, Griffin will publish Reckoning, the first novel in Kerry’s young adult / fantasy / adventure series – the Silver Blackthorn trilogy. He is an occasional sports journalist and can frequently be spotted cycling the hills of Lancashire while trying not to be knocked off. Please drive safely around him. He was born in Somerset but now lives in the northwest. Find out more at: http://kerrywilkinson.com, http://facebook.com/JessicaDanielBooks.
I listened to this novel while driving to / from Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, July 2014, so it won’t be as thorough as I normally do but this is the general gist…
As with all good crime novels, the body (or in this case, a part of a body) comes early in the book and we’re introduced to the main character, DS Jessica Daniel* quickly. *not Daniels as in some of the Amazon reviews (you know what I’m like about getting names right!) Unlike some police detectives, she has a fairly uncomplicated personal life; the most challenging issue currently being a bridesmaid for her best friend, Caroline (the event itself doesn’t go without a hitch). Other characters include Izzy Diamond (a great DC), DC David Rowlands (I think he and Jessica will get together by the end of the series, although he has a girlfriend) and their ever-cool boss.
There are slivers of humour throughout the novel with Jessica’s much-contested driving being one of them.