Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…
When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a diary exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.
Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. As she begins writing she holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn't dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.
Will the truth finally be revealed?
John Nicholl's 'White is the Coldest Colour', tells the dark, disturbing story of one of the vilest predators I've ever encountered in fiction. That book left quite an impression on me, and in my mind I still have many clear recollections of it. 'When Evil Calls Your Name' is the sequel.
This book revolves around the same characters we encounter in 'White', however, rather than just being a continuation of that story, it also tells the same sequence of events we read in White from the point of view of Cynthia Galbraith, the monster's wife - his long-term victim. Cynthia has suffered and endured long-term abuse, manipulation and brainwashing at the hands of her husband and has ended up a helpless puppet in his hands, obeying his orders and enabling him to carry out his devious plans and satisfy his depraved, sick mind.
Don't think that this is just a retelling of the first book because from Cynthia's pov the story takes on a whole new dimension. This book gives a deep insight into what the monster's wife went through during those horrible years, how she has been systematically psychologically destroyed day by day by her husband, her mental torture, and the fear that has gripped her life. At the start we're taken back in time to when Cynthia was still a self-confident, assertive young lady, before she met Dr Galbraith. We then see how her life takes a gradual downward spiral until what's left of her is just a broken woman, a shell of her former self.
I don't wish to say much on the plot so as not to spoil the book to those who haven't read the first one. I'll just say that Cynthia is in prison now, writing about her ordeal in a journal as a means of coming to terms with what she has gone through. She also shares with us her day-to-day life in prison with the other inmates, so the story switches back and forth in time.
Some readers may find these books a bit disturbing as they deal with paedophilia and domestic abuse, but rest assured that the author tackles these difficult subjects very sensitively. I have to say that I found book one darker than the second, but this book gives us a deeper understanding of the damage manipulators inflict upon their victims.
This is not a standalone novel, so I recommend readers to read 'White is the Coldest Colour' first, because this way you would know what happened to Cynthia and why she ended up in prison. I really like the original way in which this book is written. Cynthia is writing in a journal, pouring out her thoughts and emotions, reliving the past and at the same time interacting with the reader, asking for their opinion.
As with the first one, this book has kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. My heart went out to Cynthia, I really felt sorry for her, for what she has gone through at the hands of the monster. I wished I could help her somehow. Take her out of prison so that she can live her life to the full as she deserves. How can a human being be so cruel towards another vulnerable person? What goes on in the minds of these monsters? Once again I felt deep anger, frustration and hatred towards Dr Galbraith, but I also felt hopeful for Cynthia too. Writing in her journal goes a long way in healing her emotional scars, but can she ever rebuild her life again? Can she ever feel free again? Will she ever be able to put a lid on her past and move on?
Well, this was another gripping, knuckle-biting read by John Nicholl. I found it really engrossing and would highly recommend it.
With thanks to the author and to Bloodhound books for sending me an ARC of the book which I voluntarily accepted to read and review.
John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, writes popular dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon international bestseller, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire. A Cold Cold Heart, John’s sixth book, is published by Bloodhound Books in January 2018. John is represented by Toby Mundy - Literary agent at TMA.