Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review - Chalk Valley by D.L. Johnstone

Chalk ValleyChalk Valley by D.L. Johnstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 363 pages
Published July 15th 2012 by Amazon Kindle
'In a remote mountain valley in British Columbia, a human monster preys on innocent lives. After teenagers discover the body of a missing girl in Chalk Valley, searchers find the remains of two more victims secreted deep in the woods. A serial killer is at work.

Chalk Valley police detective John McCarty is picked to lead a task force to find the murderer. But inexperience, politics and McCarty’s own inner demons quickly overwhelm him and the investigation falters.

Meanwhile, on a dark, lonely highway many miles from Chalk Valley, RCMP Sergeant Dave Kreaver comes across a van crashed at the side of the road. The driver is anxious to leave the scene. But Kreaver discovers an unconscious teenaged girl in the van. Kreaver feels in his gut that the driver could be the serial killer everyone’s looking for, but his inquiries are ignored. The task force is in well over its head, buried by thousands of leads and potential suspects. His supervisors tell him to back off and let the task force do its job.

Kreaver is in a deadly cat and mouse game with a murderous psychopath, a race against time with innocent victims in play. Operating alone and without official sanction, can he stop the Chalk Valley Killer before he claims more lives?

Based on extensive research with world class authorities on the workings of modern serial murder investigation, CHALK VALLEY explores the challenges, the terror and the human crises that affects all those caught in the killer’s web – the investigators, the victims and the families.'

My Thoughts:
For a debut novel, Chalk Valley is exceptionally well written and very fast moving all the while keeping the reader interested and fascinated at the same time.

The story is told from several points of view which gives the reader a great overview of every facet that is going on, especially since you get to see the criminal's side of things as well. I really enjoyed this angle as it's not often you get to read a crime novel which shows you behind the scenes of the killer's world, normally you just get the point of view of the investigator or police officers involved and don't really get told much about the culprit until the end when they discover who it is.

There was also a lot of outlining of police procedures and the subsequent red-tape involved in an investigation in this novel which made it seem a lot more realistic. It wasn't your typical perfect 'Law & Order' crime where all the evidence matches up too perfectly and the criminal is caught within a week. There was a lot of waiting and lagging of time before many developments eventuated which I quite enjoyed as it made the story all the more real and interesting.

You could definitely tell an awful lot of research and time has been put in by the author to replicate how a proper investigation can go down and this effort certainly shows.

My favourite thing about this story was just how real and flawed all of the characters were. You really got a sense of who they were and felt for them through their struggles and frustrations throughout the novel.

Overall, Chalk Valley is probably one of the best crime novels I have read in a very long time. At no point was I bored with the story, in fact it was usually the opposite where I was disappointed if I was too tired or didn't have the opportunity to continue reading it for whatever reason. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this novel to anyone interested in stories of this nature and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Author's Website:
Amazon: Chalk Valley

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear your thoughts....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...