BOOK REVIEW: David Jackson – Hope to Die

David Jackson
Hope to Die
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Zaffre
ISBN-10: 1785761129
ISBN-13: 978-1785761126
21 September, 2017

David Jackson’s second Nathan Cody outing set in Liverpool, Hope to Die has a tough act to follow. Cody first appeared in A Tapping At My Window, a remarkably tight, beautifully crafted and deeply enthralling novel in which Jackson introduced compelling characters – Cody himself and his cohorts, particularly that of Megan Webley – we can truly believe in; flawed but not so much so as that they become stereotypical.

So has Jackson succeeded with his ‘difficult’ second novel? Yes … and then some!

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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