Book Review: White is the Coldest Colour, by John Nicholl

Publisher:  |  Publication date: 7th April 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Review copy)

White is the Coldest Colour_full jacketIn White is the Coldest Colour trust isn’t simply broken, it’s smashed to smithereens and the resulting fear can stop life in its tracks – forever.

Despicably vile. That’s Dr Galbraith for you. A child psychologist is sworn to protect and help innocents through troubled times, and yet this loathsome individual does his utmost to ruin lives to satisfy his own sick fantasies.

In public he is a beacon to represent everything wonderful about his profession. He is so admired he practically glows. In private, his depravity sinks to an all-time desperate low.

Children are referred to him with their problems and he has complete access on all levels. Why wouldn’t they? Everyone is oblivious to the other world he dwells in; a respected doctor and all round great guy, who would believe it?

I must congratulate the author for his ingenious method of introducing the Doctor.  Throughout the story a series of monologues and snippets of domestic life quickly builds a picture of the real man operating behind the scenes. We see his wife treated appallingly, until she has little or no existence, and what he really thinks about his patients and their pathetic, whining families. There’s an art to creating a character SO low that one would need to be physically restrained if they were standing in front of you. The utter conceit makes your skin crawl, it’s quite a feat.

Needless to say, the Dr Galbraith selects his victims carefully. He chooses a poor lad who is suffering as a result of his parents recent separation and NOTHING will stop him. The entire family is blissfully unaware of the Psychiatrist’s intentions, and he knows it. Yet his determination to get his own way could be his downfall. At the height of his frenzies he becomes almost Jekyll and Hyde-like until he regains composure. The Doctor’s mask is slipping, he’s on the verge of risking everything – and it’s brilliantly done.

This is a genuine ‘shout from the side-lines’ story and will have you relentlessly willing the good guys to put a end to the nightmare. The authorities don’t have an easy task and you sense the anguish in every chapter.

So, there is no doubt in my mind that White is the Coldest Colour will grip you entirely. Although be warned, it’s not an easy read. The overall theme surrounds child abuse and it can be fairly grim in places. But it’s also suspenseful and highly emotive, if your nerves and anger levels can take it, that is.


Rating: 4.5/5

(Huge thanks to the author for contacting me via Goodreads and providing a digital copy of his book for review.)

 White Coldest Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

The novel is entirely fictional, but draws on my experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer. During my career I was faced with case after case that left me incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims. The book reflects that reality. The story is set in 1992, a more naive time when many found it extremely difficult to believe that a significant number of adults posed a serious risk to children. The book contains content that some readers may find disturbing from the start. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

John Nicholl

White is the coldest colour is a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller which draws on John Nicholl’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker.

The novel entered the Amazon top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and reached # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. The author wrote articles relating to child protection for newspapers and a national social work magazine during his career, but this is his first novel. He lives in rural West Wales, has been happily married for many years, and has three adult children and one grandchild.

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