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Into Darkness

Overview

A brilliantly original first crime thriller, with a wonderful cast of characters, opens with the baffling death of a world famous British actor.

In the stinking mud of a great tidal river, a body lies half submerged. Sir Tommy Best, adored British actor, has fallen to his death through a hole in the walkway above. The saintly Sir Tommy was friend to the starving and penniless, to kings and stars. He was also totally blind and reliant on his brilliant guide dog, Suzy. But she is ...

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Into Darkness

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Overview

A brilliantly original first crime thriller, with a wonderful cast of characters, opens with the baffling death of a world famous British actor.

In the stinking mud of a great tidal river, a body lies half submerged. Sir Tommy Best, adored British actor, has fallen to his death through a hole in the walkway above. The saintly Sir Tommy was friend to the starving and penniless, to kings and stars. He was also totally blind and reliant on his brilliant guide dog, Suzy. But she is nowhere to be found. It seems unimaginable that Suzy would have led him into danger, so is it murder — and where is she? When she finally turns up, it is only to deepen the mystery. She is stressed and tense and soon Chief Superintendent 'Fatso' and Detective Chief Inspector Ned realise that only one person in the force can possibly help. Kate, police dog handler extraordinaire, known affectionately as the Dog Tart, suggests they find Nick Parsons, who trained Suzy, in the hope that he can get the dog to lead them to the truth. The search for Nick Parsons culminates in a highly unusual plan, in which Ned will become blind for one night and with Suzy the guide dog, re-enact Sir Tommy Best's last fateful walk. The truth which they uncover is utterly horrible.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In documentary filmmaker Lewis’s promising first novel, Jewish Det. Chief Insp. Ned Bale investigates the death of legendary actor and philanthropist Sir Thomas Best, whose body was found in a muddy unused dock basin, part of a nameless, sewage-filled U.K. port. Since Tommy was blind, no one can understand what he could have been doing on the docks at midnight. Did he fall? Was he pushed? Tommy’s 11-year-old seeing-eye Labradoodle, Suzy—bred for blind people with allergies—is the only witness. Tommy’s widow, Dame Angela, who maintains that suicide is not an option, proves unhelpful, but the dog’s trainer, a solitary-soul veterinary nurse, does lend Ned steadfast assistance. That Suzy’s harness was broken before the time of death suggests foul play. The climax convincingly recreates the blind man’s last moments, and Lewis has a flair for the unexpected turn of phrase as well as plot. (July)
From the Publisher
"Highly descriptive passages and the way we are given insight into the mind of Ned and Kate remind me of Chandler and his world-weary detective heroes. . . . Not a book to skip through but one to be enjoyed and savoured."  —Eurocrime

"[A] well-balanced combination of instruction, mystification and action . . . a very promising debut."  —Literary Review

"Gripping."  —Dog Today

Library Journal
When beloved movie star Sir Tommy Best drowns after falling through a hole in a rickety pier, all of Britain mourns. Long blind, Tommy was always guided by his talented work dog, Suzy, so it's puzzling that she wasn't on the scene when he died. Suspecting foul play, DCI Ned Bale investigates, relying on dog handler Kate Baker to work with Suzy. Ned and his team pore through the clues and, using technology and forensic evidence, begin to glean why Best would have been at the docks. Concurrently, Kate tracks down Nick Parsons, who had trained Suzy. Nick, blind and living off the grid, agrees to teach Ned to "play" blind to solve the case. But if Ned is going to pull off his own bit of dramatic role-playing, what is to keep him from dying on the docks, too? VERDICT In this striking debut from a former documentary filmmaker, Lewis's premise of using the dog to solve the murder raises moral questions and will haunt readers long afterward.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848092587
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

JONATHAN LEWIS worked for years for the BBC as a documentary maker. He now lives in Oxfordshire with his wife. Into Darkness is his first novel.

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