Dark Objects

HarperAudio. (Laughton Rees, Bk. 1). Jul. 2022. 11:10 hrs. ISBN 9780063246331. $27.99. THRILLER
Narrator Shazia Nicholls’s resonant voice, spot-on characterizations, and excellent pacing immerse listeners in the twists and turns of this suspenseful police procedural by British novelist Toyne (“The Sanctus Trilogy”). North London Murder Squad Detective Chief Inspector Tannahill Khan, already dealing with a rash of violent crimes, comes under immense pressure from his superiors and the press when a wealthy woman is brutally murdered in her posh mansion. The killer has bizarrely staged her body, placing strange objects around her, including the book How To Process a Murder by Laughton Rees, the estranged daughter of Police Commissioner John Rees. Because her book is at the scene, Laughton reluctantly agrees to help Tannahill investigate. Although she is a forensics expert, Laughton focuses on cold cases, rather than current ones, because current cases remind her too much of her mother’s horrific death at the hands of the serial killer whom her father couldn’t keep behind bars. Nicholls perfectly interprets the intense action of this psychological thriller, and her empathetic portrayals help listeners connect with Toyne’s well-developed characters.
VERDICT Adeptly weaving in discussions of racism and income inequality, Toyne’s latest (hopefully the start of a new series) is essential for all mystery and suspense collections.
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