Summoning the Dead by Tony Black


I volunteered to receive a copy of this book from THE Book Club on Facebook (#TBCONFB)

I haven’t read the previous two books in this series, and before coming to leave my review, I wasn’t aware there were previous books. Therefore, this can definitely be read as a standalone.

The subject matter is difficult – child abuse at a children’s home – but is not dealt with graphically at all.

The book follows DI Bob Valentine who is one of those honest-to-goodness coppers, but for me, at times his dialogue didn’t match with the truly awful things a copper of his experience would have seen over his lifetime. I’d like to have seen him a bit harder, even as he is struggling with a decision as to whether to remain on the force following a near-fatal stabbing.

The book switches between present day, following the gruesome discovery of two young children’s bodies, and from the point of view of one of the children back in the 80’s. I did think some of the language Tony Black uses when inside the mind of the eleven year old child was a little too adult. Some of the word choices were, in my opinion, wrong, too grown up.

I found it slow to start, but it definitely picked up pace as the story moved towards its conclusion. I did get confused with all the different coppers and this may be helped by reading the previous novels, but I found i didn’t connect deeply with any of them.

Overall a good, fairly easy read (especially given the subject matter). I liked it. I didn’t love it.


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