Deadly Partnership: Murder, Blackmail and Voices from the Spirit World
by Richard Gardner
Read: 22nd – 27th August 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I agreed to receive a digital version of this book, free of charge, from the author (Richard Gardner) in exchange for posting my honest review.
…So what’s this book about?
Deadly Partnership is a standalone novel of approx 344 pages, in the murder mystery genre with the addition of a supernatural aspect in the form of ghosts and Spiritualism. Due to some of the content in this story, I think that this book could also sit comfortably on the crime or horror shelf too.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
On his retirement, widower Paul Jenkins decides to live with his sister by the sea. But having moved in, the idyllic life that he has been hankering after is thrown into turmoil when he comes face to face with a burglar in the middle of the night.
His impulsive reaction to the intrusion has disturbing consequences when he is confronted with some unsavoury characters. However, it is the dead that he has far more to fear from.
…So, what did I like about it?
Richard Gardner is a new-to-me author; I found his writing style easy to read, the language and plot are intelligent and well thought out. I liked the way he describes his scenes with such accuracy that you are immediately transported into the place in your mind without bogging you down with detail.
I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t like our main character’s personality; Paul Jenkins’ idiosyncrasies felt cold, sociopathic but it makes for an interesting spin… This story has a whole host of characters on both sides of the law and I really liked the supporting cast that Gardner includes in his tale; each one added another layer to this story, whether it was Paul’s old school friends, his old school sweetheart or the new criminal element that came into his life. I think that Julie, Paul’s spinster sister, was my favourite character; she had such a kind heart, I loved her sense get-up-and-go and enjoyed the supernatural element that she introduced into the plot.
I have to be honest, it wasn’t until I was almost half way through this book that I felt more engaged in the story. I enjoyed the twists turns and the way Mr Gardner revealed unexpected facts about our characters and their lives. As the story developed and the pace picked up, I found myself needing to read just one more page before putting the book down or just to the end of the next chapter and in the end, I stayed up until midnight to find out how the story would finish – I was gripped.
…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
I need to be honest and say that there are a few niggles/reasons why this book didn’t earn more stars from me.
For me, this story started with a bang, the first chapter was great; clever, fast paced, thrilling and chilling all at the same time but then it went south for a very long time – the next 40% of the book, in fact; the pace slowed down, the scene was being set but the story didn’t seem to progress very far. I was close to giving up at this stage as my interest waned dramatically.
As a reader whose favourite genre is paranormal romance, I love authors who allow us to get into the heads of our main characters; I like reading their inner dialogue, the thoughts that dictate why they do the things they do. This story hasn’t really got much of this type of writing (for some of you that will be a bonus lol!) and as so I failed to connect to our characters like I was hoping; I just watched the scenes unfold as a bystander instead of really getting involved emotionally.
…So, basically what I’m saying is…
This is a good story; I enjoyed it. As it says in the title, it has murder, blackmail and ghosts to keep us gripped but Deadly Partnership also explores the various relationships in our lives – both past and current – that guide our decisions, it is a tale about the choices we make and the potential ramifications for us and those around us.
I’m not sure what book’s I’d compare this too but the story reminds me of the old British T.V. series from the 70’s and 80’s Tales of the Unexpected or the more modern series from the BBC Inside No. 9 but with less comedy.
I would recommend this novel to readers who love a good thriller, although I wouldn’t class this as a ‘cozy mystery’ it is far from a blood and gore fest as I feel it’s more focused on the psychological side of things.
So, has my review of DEADLEY PARTNERSHIP: MURDER, BLACKMAIL AND VOICES FROM THE SPIRIT WORLD encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See DEADLEY PARTNERSHIP on Goodreads.com