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Chris High books reviewed

Front cover of the book 'Hope To Die'.

David Jackson
Hope To Die

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Zaffre
ISBN-10: 1785761110
ISBN-13: 978-1785761119

6 April, 2017

David Jackson’s first Liverpool set crime novel featuring the troubled DS Nathan Cody, A Tapping At My Door, was remarkable. Tight, beautifully crafted and deeply enthralling, Jackson introduced compelling characters – Cody himself and his cohorts, particularly that of Megan Webley – we truly believed in; flawed but not so much so as that they become stereotypical in any way.

A tough act to follow then with the second instalment Hope To Die; a book which has to not only move Cody’s personal struggles forward, but also hold captive its readers in a grip velvet-clad iron. A grip which, with consummate skill and dexterity David Jackson has managed to deliver.

On a bitterly cold winter's night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city's Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage. Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic - no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder. And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it's all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

It is with a sense of sadness that Hope To Die reaches its conclusion, it really is that entertaining to read. Packed with tension, Jackson’s assuredness and confidence in that which he is creating shines from sentence-to-sentence so that we, as readers, trust everything he writes.

Added to this is a scenario which is credible enough, despite its extreme content, to leave little to the imagination whilst and at the same time begging the question ‘what if?’ constantly.

The setting, the city of Liverpool, sweats foreboding and humour in equal measures, becoming a character in its own right, whereas the swinging, swathing plots and themes intermingle in a rich stew of  satisfaction.

Disturbing, emotionally charged and witty, David Jackson’s Hope To Die genuinely is a crime novel that has everything and more.



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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