‘Dark Memories’ by Liz Mistry
Three letters. Three murders. The clock is ticking…
When the body of a homeless woman is found under Bradford’s railway arches, DS Nikki Parekh and her trusty partner DC Sajid Malik are on the case.
With little evidence, it’s impossible to make a breakthrough, and when Nikki receives a newspaper clipping taunting her about her lack of progress in catching the killer, she wonders if she has a personal link to the case.
When another seemingly unrelated body is discovered, Nikki receives another note. Someone is clearly trying to send her clues… but who?
And then a third body is found.
This time on Nikki’s old street, opposite the house she used to live in as a child. And there’s another message… underneath the victim’s body.
With nothing but the notes to connect the murders, Nikki must revisit the traumatic events of her childhood to work out her connection to the investigation.
But some memories are best left forgotten, and it’s going to take all Nikki’s inner strength to catch the killer…
Before they strike again.
Liz Mistry has made a career out of her Bradford-based detective stories. It is fair to say that cheerful, they are not. This is crime fiction as gutter-level grime with drug addicted prostitutes with blackened stumps for teeth.
If you’re looking for “cosy” crime, then Mistry probably isn’t for you. However, if you want well plotted, sparsely written, taut thrillers with some truly nasty villains, then Mistry is for you.
DS Nikki Parekh is a very grounded guide to the investigation, a woman of complex emotions – Mistry is a top notch writer of anxiety and the need to escape from pressurised situations.
As a novelist she is also constantly growing in confidence. Here, we slalom between narrators, first person and third person to entice, excite and conceal the motivations of the protagonists.
And, it is fair to say, Parekh and her partner DC Sajid Malik, do have a lot on their plates. They are still processing the trauma of the trafficking case which comes in the book which precedes this one, as well as tackling a killer who is picking the victims off and experiencing an unnatural gratification – blood spattering on their lips described as “erotic” at one stage a particularly effective way of unsettling the reader.
This novel is sure to be a firm favourite with anyone who wants to go down, down to the neglected areas of Bradford, down to the seedy underworld in which Parekh and Malik ply their trade, down into the well-crafted, excitingly well-plotted, hard bitten novels of Liz Mistry.
Author Bio – Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too. Now, having nearly completed a PhD in Creative Writing focussing on ‘the absence of the teen voice in adult crime fiction’ and ‘why expansive narratives matter’, Liz is chock full of ideas to continue writing.
In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.
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