The Dark Room – Minette Walters

This thrillercentres on the main character, Jinx Kingsley and her family.

Jinx is involved in a car crash that is believed by the police to be a suicide attempt. Her millionaire father has her placed into an exclusive and expensive private clinic to recuperate and recover not only from the accident but also from the amnesia she suffered as a result. Then follows the tale of her fiancĂ© and her best friend wanting to run away together, their subsequent murder, her first husband’s murder some ten years previously and the highly dysfunctional family relationships and individuals within the Kingsley household.

This is the first book by Minette Walters that I have read. It won’t be the last.
I have read reviews that say this plot is weak and unconvincing. If that is the case, then I am looking forward to reading her first two novels.

The manner of telling this story is quirky in the version of the book that I have. It is told in chronological order, down to hours within the same day. There are sections that are dressed up as newspaper clippings and police reports. Then between all of that is the narrative detailing the lives, quirks and downright weird thoughts and behaviour of the characters.

I will agree with the reviewer who said that this plot was difficult to believe.
But the story still flowed and I found myself wanting to know which of the oddball characters were responsible for what actions. It has been a long time since I wasn’t able to second guess the outcome from a storyline and this novel kept me in the dark right up until the very end. I didn’t know whether to feel sympathy towards Jinx or to suspect her of some horrific things. The same could be said of many characters in this book. As information about each individual was filled out I would find myself thinking…”oh, so he must be…” or “ah, so she really did…” until I was jumping from one character to the other almost with each chapter. In the end, the longest held suspicion came to nought as it turned out that my ability to figure things out was completely off base.

In hindsight this was a strange story about strange people. I know there are dysfunctional folk out there, but surely they’re not like this? In the end, though, I found the read compulsive enough to stay up past midnight once I was nearing the end of the book. The very end was soft, but the style and suspense made up for most of the flaws.

My rating: 3 out of 5
Reading SmileyReading SmileyReading Smiley

Join the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.