It is generally a good sign when a novel grabs your attention from the first page and The Last Winter of Dani Lancing achieves just that by introducing us to the key characters and setting up a murder mystery that piques curiosity and will keep you turning the pages.
We are introduced to Dani and her father Jim and it quickly becomes clear that something has happened to Dani which continues to have a huge impact on her father.
Before long, we realise that Dani is, in fact, a ghost and that Jim and his wife Patty have separated some time after Dani was murdered.
Patty, a journalist determined to find the person responsible for hurting her daughter, is initially terrifying and her quest for the truth drives much of the action in this intricately plotted novel.
Other key players are Tom Bevans, a young policeman who was in love with Dani at the time that she was killed, and the family of the prime suspect, Duncan Cobhurn.
This is an impressive debut novel that is part part psychological thriller, part ghost story, part crime and part murder mystery.As the story unfolds, the threads linking these various characters become increasingly interwoven in a complex and intriguing manner. While there are, perhaps, a few too many twists in the tale, there is no denying that The Last Winter of Dani Lancing will grip many readers’ attention to the very last page.
As the action plays out towards the end of the novel, I could visualise it as a scene from a movie and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see The Last Winter of Dani Lancing making it on to our screens before long.
The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is published by Crown (2013). ISBN 9780804136822; eISBN 9780804136839.
[Disclosure: An advance copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.]