Title: The Necessary Deaths (The Delingpole Mysteries #1)
Author: David C. Dawson
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Suspense
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 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.
“The Necessary Deaths” is a wild mis-mash of suspense, political corruption, secret societies, mysterious deaths and near-deaths, opera singers, lawyers, pesky crime-solving students and black hat hackers. Readers will either hang on and enjoy the crazy adventure, or decide this book is just not for them.
Personally, I hung on until the end and rather liked “The Necessary Deaths” despite feeling at points that the plot was just too convoluted and the cast of characters was too numerous. The plot is almost too hard to describe other than to say it begins with a supposed suicide attempt by a journalist student and involves his flatmates trying to figure out what happened to him, as well as lawyer Dominic Delinpole (who is hired by the student’s mother) and his partner, Jonathan and a number of friends and acquaintances that also band together to discover the truth. Looking solely at the plot and pacing, the story kept me entertained and consumed with solving the case until the very exciting ending.
Where “The Necessary Deaths” lost points for me is character development. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Dominic and Jonathan, and they were each too lightly developed to really get a sense of their personalities. The same was true of the students (Si, John, Gemma and Jay) and Miles, Harrison, Steve, Pat, Samanatha, Christophe, etc. There was just so much manpower needed to fuel the plot that there was no time to flesh out any of these characters. But since this is the first in a series, I’m hoping we’ll get more in-depth details about these characters in future books.
I would recommend “The Necessary Deaths” to anyone looking for a action-packed read, but can understand how this book is not everyone’s cup of tea.