I responded to a call for reviewers for author Mark Draycott’s book, Chasing Shadows, the first in the DCI Morgan series. I found the premise very intriguing and reached out, wanting to review it for my blog. And here I am, doing exactly this. Here’s the blurb:
When newly promoted Nicholas Morgan takes the reins in his role as DCI, he could never have envisaged what would follow in his first few weeks at the helm. Thrown into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, DCI Morgan suddenly finds himself chasing shadows, forced into a dramatic confrontation with a familiar ghost of his tainted past. This is personal.
In this nail biting, first instalment in the DCI Morgan series, prepare yourself to be launched into a dark world of crime, blood and tears. This fast paced enticing read will have you impatiently guessing the next move. Be careful though because someone is always one step ahead of you. Are you ready to play the game?
Chasing Shadows is set in London, where DCI Morgan (Detective Chief Inspector), has to step into his new job. He is a man with a past that he hopes stays hidden. But when his first task post promotion threatens to mix the two, he has to unravel the tangle before they can become an intangible mess.
29-year-old Rachel Clifton is murdered behind a launderette. As Morgan and his assistant detectives get on the job of finding the murderer, another murder is reported. The loop repeats when, while investigating and connecting the link between Rachel and Scott’s murders, yet another person is murdered. DCI Morgan and his team has to now stop this madman before another tragedy occurs. Will DCI Morgan be able to find the criminal? If so, how will he do it? What tactics will he use? And will he bring justice to the victims and their family?
Chasing Shadows has a fast-paced narrative that gives you an adrenalin rush. You can empathize with DCI Morgan, understanding the way he deals with his past and why he did what he did. DCI Morgan does his best to plough ahead while on a tightrope between his past and his present. Is that not something that all of us do at some point in our lives?
But apart from the pace of the book and how the story ends, I could only find points of improvement in Chasing Shadows.
One can get a vague idea about the intents of the characters in the book, but not more than that. There’s a serial killer, yes, and in certain situations, it may be enough to incite hatred in someone’s heart. But when there is a prior connection between the two, we need to be able to see – in more than one dialogue – how the protagonist develops his hatred for the evil. There needs to be character development from all ends, and the story itself needs to be deeper. This, when the person involved is the main character himself. His conflict needs to be brought out better.
There are a few punctuation mistakes here and there that you can easily ignore. Not more than that. In addition to this, there are a few things that didn’t exactly resonate with me. For example, DCI Morgan ‘shouts’ a lot; emotions seem a little forced in some places. But hey! It could be just me!
On the whole, Chasing Shadows is more like a TV show’s screenplay in novel form, thanks to its fast-paced narrative (used this phrase multiple times, but it’s the truth). A book needs to have more expression and more variety in language. It isn’t that Chasing Shadows doesn’t have expression and language, but it could be so much better!
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
You can follow author Mark Draycott here:
Readers in the US, you can buy Mark Draycott’s book here: Chasing Shadows
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