Title: Killing Daniel
Author: Sarah Dobbs
Publisher: Unthank Books
Published: 5th November 2012
ISBN: 978 0956422385
The cover on this reflects the diverse nature of the backdrop of the book – it is set in both Japan and Manchester – with two main characters whose lives have crossed in school.
The book commences with Daniel being killed for no apparent reason by an unknown assailant which is fairly shocking, and we’re left wondering throughout the book who killed him and why. Fleur gives the impression that she knows more than what she has previously told police and a lot of her side of the story is her reflecting on her relationship with Daniel and realising truths which she hadn’t faced at the time. It’s also painfully obvious that she’s made some really bad decisions when it comes to her relationships. I’m glad that she has the steady relationship with her Nan that is there to anchor her, even if she doesn’t know how to express herself at times to her Nan. Fleurs past unravels slowly as she faces, accepts and then acts on her past.
Chinatsu is a kept wife; caught in an apparent loveless arranged marriage with Yugi, she believes having a child will bring her and her husband together, even though it’s transparent to the reader that that is not something her husband wants. I was mystified how she jumped to the conclusion that Yugi was having an affair when she found a certain piece of ‘evidence’ which most people in their right mind would question a completely different way! Yugi is a man with his own demons which his wife is totally unaware of.
Killing Daniel unflinchingly tackles gritty issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, morality and murder, as well as life choices, relationships and friendships. I thought the ending was a bit far fetched considering how much had gone on for both characters throughout the book. I would have liked a neater ending to find out exactly what punishment those who deserved it received, so from that point of view I felt the story could have gone a little bit extra. The ending as it is kind of goes full circle and allows some closure and comfort to the characters. If you like books which cover the topics I've indicated, then this is a thorough and absorbing read. I've rated this slightly lower than I would have if it had given the punishment to those who victimised...it's still a very absorbing read though and worth checking out :)
In Manchester Fleur is drifting through life haunted by her murdered boyfriend Daniel. In Japan Chinatsu is trying to escape a passionless marriage to Yugi Hamogoshi, a man with a secret who won't let her go. Fleur and Chinatsu used to be schoolfriends. Fleur and Chinatsu had a bond. Fleur and Chinatsu had dreams. This is the story of what happens before they can be together again. A cross-cultural thriller like no other, Sarah Dobbs' KILLING DANIEL exposes the secret lives of contrasting people with unflinching insight and lyrical prose. This is a cross-cultural thriller like no other
Source – Many thanks to the Publisher, a copy was received in return for an honest review.