A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson

Zaffre/ 2016/ e-book/ Print length: 315 pages/ My own copy/ 4*

It’s that time of year ago when I’ve been reading and not reviewing – spending more time gardening as the grass grows so quickly and the weeds multiply. And I want to do some more family history . As it’s too hot to do much gardening today I’ve got some time to write a short review.

A Tapping At My Door is a crime thriller, the first in David Jackson’s DS Nathan Cody crime thriller series. I bought it not long after it had been published in 2016, but I’ve only just got round to reading it. I wrote about the opening in this post. Even though this book is more scary and, in parts more gruesome, than I like to read, I did finish it, and enjoyed it for the characters and the plot.

I liked Nathan immediately. He works in the Major Investigation Team in Liverpool, but was previously an undercover officer. It’s obvious that something had gone wrong whilst he was working undercover, which had affected him very badly. He can’t sleep, has a quick temper and flares up very easily, especially with the local reporter and he acts recklessly with little regard for his safety.

The mystery begins as Terri Latham is disturbed late one night by a ‘tapping, scratching, scrabbling noise at her back door’. When she goes outside to investigate she sees a large black bird trapped at her window and she is then struck with something hard and heavy, rammed into her skull. What follows is not a quick death and when the police find her, it is with the dead bird’s wings unfurled and spread across her where her eyes had been, and her cheeks. There is a note attached to the bird’s leg, with the message: ‘Nevermore‘, a reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven.

There are more bodies, each accompanied by a dead bird and a cyptic note, and it is soon obvious that the murderer is targeting the police. This book is full of tension, it’s very creepy and in places it is utterly gross. Although, I’m giving it 4 stars I am not at all sure I’ll read any more of the books in this series, but if you have a stronger stomach than me you’ll probably love them.

I have a backlog of reviews to write, so this is the first of several short reviews so that I can catch up!

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: A Tapping at My Door by David Jackson

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

I’m currently reading A Tapping at My Door by David Jackson, one of my 20 Books of Summer. It’s the first in his DS Nathan Cody crime thriller series.

Listen.

There it is again. The sound. The tapping, scraching, scrabbling noise at the back door.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

56%:

‘We can’t keep operating like this. We can’t treat every suspicious call as if it’s leading us to an unexploded bomb. We haven’t got the resources and pretty soon the public is going to start wonderingwhy we’re taking so long to deal with minor crimes.

Synopsis from Amazon

When police are called to a murder scene in the Liverpool suburbs, even the most jaded officers are disturbed by what they find.

DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realises the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

~~~

The beginning of this book is so scary that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to read it, but I am and I’m enjoying it. Jackson quotes from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven before Chapter 1, which gives you a hint of what is to follow.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.