The Weight of Shadows by @KarlHolton #BookReview

A gripping crime thriller mystery with twists from the beginning to end.

When you have spent your life in the shadows, what would you do at the dying of the light?

Three years ago the best murder detective in London is blamed for the death of his colleague and kicked out of the Met.
A man with secrets buried in the past and present returns to London, the city that started the mysterious career which made him a billionaire.
The two need each other.
But they have no idea how much.

It's my pleasure to be sharing my review of The Weight of Shadows today, my grateful thanks to Karl Holton for sending me the ebook to read.
The Weight of Shadows opens with a chilling prologue which ends with DCI Danny Benedict at the mercy of a deranged serial killer. I expected the book would then either flashback to how he ended up there or would follow the hunt for justice. I was wrong - completely, utterly and brilliantly wrong. At first the book is a little confusing as multiple characters are introduced across several locations; Iceland, Montenegro, Kiev, and London; the Ukranian Bratva (mafia) in London discuss a sinister sounding 'acquisition'; a Serbian gang are planning a jewellery heist with a help from their English counterparts who want to carry out "one last job"; two gangster brothers, Ted and Ray Hanson meet up after years apart, the former is a skilled burglar and his brother a rich man thanks to his hugely successful money laundering business. Meanwhile Danny Benedict is now working at the Serious Organised Crime Command (OCC) and is rising through the ranks again after being demoted following the previous case two years ago. Phew! This is just Day One and though it's not yet clear how all these narratives were linked, there's already a strong sense that somehow Benedict is going to find himself at the centre of a complex and dangerous investigation.
Despite the rapid introduction of so many characters and the numerous location switches, I was very quickly gripped by The Weight of Shadows. Each chapter is so fast paced, the sense of place vividly realised throughout and the characterisation absolutely top notch, each individual has a clear and well drawn identity.  Danny Benedict is the epicentre of the novel perhaps and is a fascinating man who is dealing as much with the demons of his past as with the present investigation. His interactions with Wallace the perceptive female Flying Squad DI are intriguing and I hope will continue to develop in the second book of the series. Ray Hanson's character development is equally engrossing as little by little we learn more about his past and what motivates him now. I also loved the frankly brilliant Pip, a woman who was privy to top level secrets and who has the ability and means to operate within the shadows, even in retirement.
Told over just a few days, the tension is palpable as the body count and sense of danger increases. I really don't want to give too much away here suffice to say that the storylines comes together like a brilliantly crafted jigsaw puzzle. The Weight of Shadows looks at the relationship between light and dark, how somebody is affected by a life in the shadows and whether they can find retribution and perhaps forgive themselves. This is an intelligent, compelling thriller which ends with a nail-bitingly tense conclusion and a cliffhanger that blew me away and had me reading back for clues - I'm now desperate to read the sequel, The Wait for Shadows to find out just what happens next!

The Weight of Shadows  (Shadows Series Book 1) can be purchased here.

About the Author

Karl is a chartered accountant who previously worked in financial markets for over thirty years. He has decided to follow his dream of writing. He is married with two children and lives in Surrey.

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