Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
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On his retirement, widower Paul Jenkins decides to live with his sister by the sea. But having moved in, the idyllic life that he has been hankering after is thrown into turmoil when he comes face to face with a burglar in the middle of the night.
His impulsive reaction to the intrusion has disturbing consequences when he is confronted with some unsavoury characters. However, it is the dead that he has far more to fear from.
Dark and ghoulish with an exceedingly clever storyline, Deadly Partnership is the latest release from British author Richard Gardner and arguably his best to date as he takes the grand themes of murder, deceit and the paranormal to new and twisted levels. Readers familiar with Gardner’s novels can expect room for dry wit, social insight and subtle sardonic touches that transform an intriguing plot into a narrative with an abundance of feeling. He’s at his best creating a sense of big moments through small events and he has it down to a fine art as Paul Jenkins finds events spinning out of control. There’s no abundance of blood and hysteria, it isn’t needed, as he continues to build suspense in sure calculating steps whilst leveraging the interplay between Paul and Angela, who has just the right blend of vulnerability and expectations to keep us guessing. It’s this relationship that works its way through multiple plots strains with Gardner confidently juggling them to bring everything together in a surprising denouement which definitely leaves us reflecting on what we have read.
Though quite a light read, Deadly Partnership proves a genuine page-turner and one that sees Gardner at the top of his game. Another strong release from a consistently entertaining author, it is highly recommended.
Some truths are best left hidden!