DARK WATERS (Monica Kennedy #2) by GR Halliday | #BookReview


“Annabelle loves to drive. It helps her escape her world, her past. Speeding on a mountain road in the Scottish Highlands, she sees a little girl step out in front of her. She swerves to avoid her. The next thing Annabelle remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will see you now’.
Scott is camping in the woodlands in the Scottish Highlands – but in the middle of the night, he hears something outside his tent. When he goes out to have a look, a little girl is standing among the trees, staring right at him. Scott is never seen again.
When a dismembered body is discovered, DI Monica Kennedy gets called to the scene immediately. After six months away from the Serious Crimes team, they need her back on board.

Genre: Thriller
Published: 16/07/2020
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Length: 432 Pages
My rating: 5 🌟

Dark waters is darkly captivating without flourish or artificial methods because Halliday’s writing style draws you in by using the vivid elements into this world to influence how the reader reacts.

There is nothing that will prepare you for the full force and dark atmospheric of Dark Waters by GR Halliday. This book will sweep you off your feet and carry you on a disturbing journey where every detail matters in the fight for survival…

Halliday is a master storyteller and since his debut novel From the Shadows, his skill level has increased tenfold. Dark waters is darkly captivating without flourish or artificial methods because Halliday’s writing style draws you in by using the vivid elements into this world to influence how the reader reacts.

Halliday is clearly remarkably familiar with Inverness, the location for his novels, and is able to use that for full artistic effect. The dense forest it fells oppressive and almost alive, claustrophobic which Monica herself feels as she is looking for clues, the dark caves and deep burrowing tunnels are hellish in appearance…

And all these elements marry together beautifully through the plot of the story, resulting in a dark, suspenseful, and eerie story that made my heart beat so much faster (I actually noted on page 63 that I’m forgetting how to breathe and my heart is racing). The story is told mainly from the POV of DI Kennedy, but occasionally to flick to other character’s perspectives, usually Annabelle, and I think it added so much more to the story to almost know what is happening, but not really giving you anymore and increasing suspense. The pacing is brilliant, slow in places to build the momentum, then your heard is going wild with so much anxiety for the characters – I almost screamed at them a few times out loud!, and the short chapters will keep you turning the page.
Also, the cogs moving the plot forward have logical sense and I did not sense any artificiality to get the story from A to B, instead the characters moved it all along beautifully.

In Dark Waters we get to know more about Monica’s team, delve deeper into their lives, all with purpose and meaning. It is clear that Halliday has been doing his homework and knows plenty about Police procedures and investigations. Made me chuckle a few times as in true detective style, nobody is bothering to take their radios with them and it made me stupidly happy that some typical thriller/horror clichés were considered for 0.5 seconds, then dismissed and did the rational thing! YESSSS!!!! 🙌 I love it when characters are not being dumb for the plot.
Some of the characters in Dark waters are unbelievably well written, their psychology and motivations making awful sense even in their madness. I really appreciate the efforts that Halliday put into creating believable madness.

Omg, I enjoyed this book so much and by that I mean: I felt every single emotion, I was drawn into the atmosphere of the novel and I got scared… a lot.
I thoroughly recommend this book, you can read it without From the shadows, however it would be far more enjoyable as certain aspects of the character’s emotions would make a lot more sense.

Fun fact: G.R. Halliday lives in the rural Highlands outside of Inverness, where he is pursues mountain climbing and swimming in the sea. No wonder that his world building is so realistic!

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