You can run… but death will always find you
A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.
Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.
A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.
Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.
But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?
I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy of Books On The Bright Side Publicity for my place on the tour and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
This is the first book I have read by this author and, if I hadn’t been told it was part of a series, I would not have known simply from reading it. The fact I hadn’t read the previous books did not detract from my understanding or enjoyment of this book at all, it works perfectly as a standalone.
The book pulled me in to the story immediately, opening as it does with the rather gory discovery of the dead body of a retired police officer. From the very beginning, the author does not hold back from giving us a graphic insight in to the way a police investigation works, the pleasant and very unpleasant together. This was the most appealing part of the book to me, looking at how investigations are really happen and how the police have to juggle demands on their time, decide what to prioritise, and how those decisions can be political rather than in the best interests of the victims. It’s very sobering, to be honest.
At the beginning there seem to be two separate crimes to be investigated, one of which is more important to the top brass than the other. Luckily, the two voices we hear from throughout the book, DI Denning and DS Fisher, are not above ignoring orders from above if it goes against their instincts, and they seem to each have a good nose for something fishy, as well as a tenacity in getting to the bottom of a crime. They are the kind of police you would want on your case if you ever needed them.
I found the book very compelling. It was extremely easy to read, and gripping enough to make me race through the pages, so that several hours flew by like minutes. I absolutely love it when a book draws you so far in to the world the author has created between the pages that you are fully living it and don’t want to be pulled out. Honestly, this is one of the best examples of the genre I have read for a while and I look forward to going back and reading the preceding books in the series. I thought the two main characters were well developed and interesting enough to easily carry the story and I really enjoyed getting to know them personally as well as professionally.
An all-round great story which will keep you engrossed and entertained for however long it takes you to read it. Highly recommended as a great distraction in these lockdown days.
The Darkness Within is out now as an ebook and you can buy a copy here.
Please check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour for alternative views on the book:
About the Author
Graeme Hampton was born in Paisley, and grew up in Stirling. After leaving school, he trained as a stage manager and worked in London for a number of years. He returned to Scotland in his late twenties to study for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University.
His first novel, Know No Evil – featuring Met detectives DI Matt Denning and DS Molly Fisher – was published in 2019 by Hera Books. This was followed by Blood Family in January 2020. The Darkness Within is the third novel in the series.
Graeme lives in Hastings, East Sussex.
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