Publication date: 31st December 2015 | This edition: Kindle (review copy)
This is Cynthia’s story. It’s a follow up to White is the Coldest Colour written in her own unique words. We now watch as she takes the tentative steps of complete honesty, from her formative years in happier times, until we reach the tragedy where time stood still, then we’re left to stare wide-eyed at the warning signs she failed to interpret until it was too late.
The format is quite different from book one, as this is written in a candid journal form, the details of which hope to offer a greater insight into Cynthia Galbraith’s experience of living her husband, a medical professional, whose main attribute was channelling his Jekyll and Hyde personality to enable him to indulge in his own sick fantasies. Once again, the story is psychologically acute, touching on some dark and upsetting events.
To give you a little background, as a psychologist, Dr Galbraith (Dr Despicable more like), possessed the knowledge to manipulate those around him and yet his work earned him great status in his field. By the end of the twisted first book we knew precisely what he was capable of, but couldn’t quite believe it.
The words Cynthia commits to paper are part of a therapeutic healing process while she is committed to serving a prison sentence. It allows her to recount the horrendous events that have transpired and come to terms with the haunting visions in her mind. The journal contains the sequence of events leading up to her incarceration, plus the odd random thought to give clarity to her fragile state, including the opinion she holds of herself and of the people she finds herself ‘acquainted’ with behind bars.
There’s a twisted rhythm to this eye-opening sequel. Just like book one time passes flashes by when reading, as Cynthia’s voice speaks volumes this time round. The inclusion of subtle, disturbing details within a relationship that are missed early on could be difficult to project, and yet the author did this with ease. Conveying how someone’s entire life can alter course to this degree in around 270 pages is quite outstanding.
For anyone who hasn’t met ‘Dr Vile’ yet, I suggest you visit White is the Coldest Colour before embarking on Cynthia’s disturbing journey. Whilst this is brilliantly written in its own right, you will despise the hateful character who is the source of many an innocent’s anguish much, much more if you do. Otherwise you could find yourself wondering what it’s all about at first, as it does take a little while to get to the nitty-gritty for those unfamiliar with previous events.
Although certain circumstances can be a little hard going at times and may not be to everyone’s tastes (it’s less psychological thriller and more psychological torment), I have no hesitation recommending both books.
(My thanks to the author for providing a digital copy of his book for review purposes.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.
Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.
John Nicholl’s first 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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