Title: The Necessary Deaths (The Delingpole Mysteries #1)
Author: David C. Dawson
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Genre(s): Gay Mystery, British, Contemporary
Page Count: 189
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a drug overdose. But was it attempted suicide or attempted murder? The student’s mother persuades British lawyer Dominic Delingpole to investigate, and Dominic enlists the aid of his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.
The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?
As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, and no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.
It is always easier to post a negative review for a book that everyone praises. Not that I LIKE to stand out among others, but because readers won’t stop buying it, doesn’t matter what I say. To do the same for a debut novel feels like bullying.
However, an honest review is an honest review, and I have to confess that I struggled with this book.
The blurb sounded promising. I was 100% sure, it was my kind of book:
– A new gay mystery series with British lawyer? YES!
– A lawyer and an opera singer as a couple? What an interesting constellation! YES!
– A scandal involving well-known politicians and business chiefs? OH YES!
– A conspiracy that reaches in the highest levels of government and powerful corporations? YES!YES!
I don’t know what to say about this novel. It was not THAT bad. If you like a lot of comic-like actions, you can probably enjoy it. But it didn’t work for me. It is one of those books that I’d prefer to watch than to read.
A short insight into the story:
When Simon, the only child of Mrs. Gregory, a friendly neighbor of Dominic Delingpole, has been taken to hospital after a drug overdose, police has no doubts that it was attempted suicide. The health condition of a young man is very critical: he is in coma since his roommate has found him. A poor woman has to go to Brighton, where her son has studied journalism at the local university, and where he is hospitalized, as soon as possible. Dominic, as a good neighbor in charge, suggests her a drive. For him it is though a win-win situation. He feels sympathy for a single mother and wants honesty to help, but at the same time he uses a chance to see his boyfriend of two years Jonathan, who lives in Brighton and with whom he has a long-distance relationship. On the way to Brighton Dominic learns that Simon has never taken any drugs, that he is not a type to commit a suicide, and that his mother not a bit believes in the suicide theory of the police. Dominic doesn’t take her declarations too seriously first, but after talking with John, a boyfriend of Simon as well as with other roommates, who all are firmly convinced that it couldn’t be an overdose, but that someone tried to kill Simon, his doubts in the suicide theory raises. And the story picks up the pace. The author will deliver almost everything that an average conspiracy thriller can give you. Only THIS everything is not very credible and real, but rather comic-like, and partly very childish.
But it is not my biggest problem though, I read much more illogical books, that I liked nevertheless.
My main issue were the characters, who I didn’t warm up with. I didn’t feel them, I was indifferent.
a) There were just too many of them.
b) They were too stereotypical. In spite of their variety too boring to admire.
c) Unfortunately Dominic Delingpolem, a main character, a title holder, was too fade and too uninteresting for me to want to know him better. I don’t also understand why this mystery series has his name in the title. At least in the first book, he was not someone who made an investigation, he was not even a silent observer, he was either a placeholder or a victim ( for a change)
The writing style felt dry and sterile, and I had a feeling as if I was reading an article in a magazine. Later I found out that the author is award-winning journalist and documentary maker.
I’m sure he makes a great reports and interesting documentaries, but with his lawyer’s series he could be hardly a second Michael Nava .
P.S I really like the cover.