Here’s a new week, and with it, a busy time on the blog (yay!), starting with this review of London Noir by the lovely Ann Girdharry! I’d like to thank the author for allowing me to follow the series by providing me with a copy of the second installment.
Title: London Noir (Book 2 in the series)
Author: Ann Girdharry
Genre: thriller, crime
Date of publication: October 17th 2017
Number of pages: 312
After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps a young girl in trouble.
The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And by whom?
Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral and save the young stranger. But Kal is in the grip of the Cartel, and is someone stalking the girl, or is the girl stalking someone?
Kal Medi is back, but the events of the first book have taken a tool on her and she is having issues finding herself again after such traumatic events. Who wouldn’t?
What they left behind was a different Kal.
I’d say lost rather than different. Everything that made her who she was, either psychologically or physically, has been shaken and I felt there was a hole Kal was trying to fill. It’s the reason why I decided to buy the “take any danger for a stranger you just met” decisions. Because I was used to the calculating, strong and lonely spirit of the old Kal and because I would never put myself in the place our main character decides to go so early in the story! I needed a reason to make sense of her weird behavior, so I blamed it all on the shock of what had happened to help me find some realism. I can say it’s the niggle I had throughout the story. Even though the action flows smoothly, I couldn’t fathom the reasons why we had been brought to this from the start. But I’m well placed to know psychological scars make you do things that don’t sound like you, so I went on with it.
Since when is a friend someone you can’t trust?
Sophie is a very special character. Everything around her is blurry, her story only snippets of a life you can’t grasp, and it kept me on my toes the entire time. Her dependency on Kal was unsettling, as if something was wrong. You know, when you walk and there’s a little pebble in your shoe, but you keep on going? That was my feeling with Sophie. The more Kal unearthed information about the young girl, the less I trusted her, but instead of creating tension, the same pattern of not knowing left me cold for the poor girl, and wondering what the hell was happening with Kal. I wanted answers, but I did not feel a real rush of urgency or danger.
Where you find emotion, you glean information, and the stronger the emotions, the more suppressed messages seep through the cracks.
The story delve into something I find extremely fascinating and scary. Mental issues, a constant dread of not being able to trust your own thoughts, and how to live with it. The author sheds light on the scars traumas can leave behind them, how deep they can run, and how some people learn how to play with it. This side of the story was exceptionally well-written, and my favorite part about the book! Kal has to face what she is, what she wants to be, and make decisions she’s been postponing for too long. I enjoyed the thread that linked the first book to the second.
On top of a stranger to save, Kal has to pay a debt. We do like our characters to be busy, right? I appreciated the fact Kal struggled with herself, her emotions, and her actions during London Noir, the confidence that could make her come off as cocky showing signs of weaknesses, allowing me to get a little closer to the character. Every aspect of the psychological state of every character is explored, and this is what makes the series special.
I was happy the secondary characters weren’t forgotten, banished to the never-to-be-heard-again prison! Marty is definitely my favorite character, and Kal’s best asset! I won’t spoil anything but sometimes, it’s hard to have such a dark and complicated best friend!!!
Overall, London Noir combines a trip into the human mind to self-discovery with a sharp and clinical writing, through action and blood, throwing one question after another to the reader!
The book is waiting for you on Amazon!
Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks. Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.