Although this is the fourth in a series of books featuring DI Nathan Cody, having not read the first three books, I feel that this worked well as a standalone. Jackson gives enough background information for readers who haven’t read previous books to know what’s going on, so you don’t feel left in the dark.
The book begins with Sara Prior returning from a brief trip home to Copenhagen. She discovers a distressing message on her answerphone from her husband Matthew – the husband who she is deeply in love with, but who for some reason in the past few months became distant and moved out of their shared home, leaving her with a devastating sense of loss. Little does she know how much larger that loss is about to become when she races over to his home, only to discover that he’s been brutally murdered. Who on earth would want to murder her quiet, socially withdrawn husband, let alone in such a cruel and violent manner?
DI Cody is tasked with questioning Sara. Due to involvement in his own psychologically damaging case prior to this one he’s not even permitted to view the crime scene. He’s somehow drawn to Sara though, realising that they both have deep-seated pains that they’re unwilling to reveal to others. What he doesn’t know is how his own past is about to be intertwined with this very case and how the incidents that haunt him during his waking hours – not only in his nightmares – are about to come calling once again. Suffice to say that his fear of clowns isn’t only because of Stephen King!
Sara Prior is downright kickass! I cheered her on every step of the way. She knows what she needs to do and doesn’t waste time getting out there and doing it – but she also knows when to tread lightly. She chooses not to share her own investigation with the police, but inevitably Cody does discover that she is out there on her own mission. He in turn, chooses to keep this from his team. I’m not entirely sure why he does this. I’d like to think it’s because he doesn’t appreciate their opinion of a female being able to get out there and conquer the universe (ok, she doesn’t quite do that, but she is quite a force to be reckoned with!). He is very much at odds with his colleagues who believe that Sara Prior has something to do with Matthew’s murder and is keeping information from them. Yes, she’s definitely hiding things from them, but not what they think.
Jackson perfectly depicts the common beliefs that people hold about gender roles in the police force, especially when it comes to victims and their spouses. It’s almost as if there is the attitude that there is an accepted way to behave and all in that position must comply. Flexibility isn’t something that comes into play here.
Although this book first appears that it might become a police procedural, it never unfolds as such. It is very much a cat and mouse psychological thriller. It’s definitely a page-turner that will keep you reading late at night – with the lights on!
David Jackson is the bestselling author of Cry Baby and Don’t Make A Sound. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Daggers Awards. He lives on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.
Follow David on twitter @Author_Dave. To join in the conversation use the hashtag #YourDeepestFear
4 chilling stars for this one, and thank you to Compulsive Readers and Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me on the blog tour. See what other bloggers are saying about Your Deepest Fear …