The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor [review]

The Dangerous Kind
Title: The Dangerous Kind
Author: Deborah O’Connor
Publisher: Zaffre Books

[Synopsis]

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? The breakout thriller of 2019 that will make you second-guess everyone you meet.

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . .

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[My Review]

One of my favourite crime novels of the year so far (and I’ve read some great books already), The Dangerous Kind managed to be satisfyingly complex, twisty and surprising without letting it ‘get too Scooby Doo’ (something the author says agent Nicola Barr Warner her against, and which I think sums up what turns me off in a crime novel perfectly!). It has just the right number of ‘wow’ moments whilst stopping short of being too over the top or unbelievable.

Set in London, this novel’s locations and settings feels very reminiscent of the capital and its darker undercurrents. I enjoyed reading about the parts of the city I live near and have visited many times, and the part that the BBC studios play in the novel is very topical thanks to the revelations of what we now know has taken place there. There are some truly disturbing parts that I felt very uncomfortable reading, but it all adds to the serious nature of the storyline and is unfortunately a reality. It made me so angry to read though; this part of the storyline really fired up an emotional response in me.

The characters in the novel are both bold and subtle; they cover such a cross-section of society and I really felt like I could know or have encountered someone like them in my personal life. It feels convincing and, although there are the usual coincidences that move the story along, it felt convincing – worryingly so. It took me a little while to properly get to grips with who each person is, as the book is told from multiple points of view, but it soon becomes clear. It’s a clever plot and is for me a testament to Deborah O’Connor’s brilliant writing.

I will be thinking about this book for a long time – it’s one to completely lose yourself in (despite those hard to read scenes) and relish the clever twists and connections. An absolutely brilliant read!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Zaffre Books for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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