It is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for One Dark Night, the latest high tension thriller from Tom Bale. I have been a big fan of Mr Bale’s work for a while now and it feels like far too long a gap since the last book but now he is back and it is oh so good. My thanks got to Noelle of Bookouture for inviting me to join the tour and to the publisher for the advance copy for review. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
He sees his wife’s eyes watching him in the rear-view mirror, the kids up on their knees to get a better look. That’s when he hears the scream…
You’re driving home from a family outing one afternoon, when a speeding car cuts you up, nearly causing you to crash. Like anyone would, you pull over to confront the driver.
But a glance into the backseat of the speeding car reveals a woman fighting to escape. She is terrified and she’s screaming for your help: these men have murdered her husband…
What would you do?
An addictive thriller with plenty of twists – fans of Harlan Coben, James Patterson and Robert Dugoni will be completely hooked.
Oh how I enjoyed this book. As I said before, it feels far too long since the last Tom Bale book as released so since earlier this summer, when I heard a new book was on the horizon, I have kept my eyes peeled, waiting patiently for the release date. Expectations were high, I am more than happy to say they were met.
At the beginning of the story we meet Adam and Katy Parr, travelling home from a lovely morning out with their children Freya and Dylan. It is on a quiet country road that they are suddenly cut up by another vehicle, driving in such a manner that it causes some minor damage to their car. As the car speeds off, the red mists descends around Adam and he can think of nothing but chasing the car down to get their details and give the driver a piece of his mind. Oh, what a costly mistake as, far from finding an oblivious but ultimately apologetic driver, Adam soon finds himself in the middle of a very dangerous situation, one which puts his life and those of his family at great risk.
This is a story in two halves. The first part of the action takes place in just one very long day and night, with the poor family, and a woman by the name of Carole, whose abduction they interrupted with the impromptu chase, being held captive in the basement of a disused farmhouse. The tension which the author manages to create in these scenes is palpable, with the gang who are responsible showing in no uncertain terms their willingness to deal with witnesses, even if this means murder. There are a few uncomfortable scenes which take place and while no violence is shown on the page, the tense of threat is ever present and it keeps the tension high.
I did really come to like the characters of Adam and Katy, although you could easily argue that Adam is a complete tool for having gotten his family into that mess in the first place rather than letting go. Despite this error in judgment, he does redeem himself by showing a determination to free himself and his family. There is also a kind of resilience in young daughter Freya who, although terrified, cares deeply for her brother and tries to help her parents in a way you can only find endearing. The bad guys on the other hand are dark and deadly, some in a truly skin crawling way. You do get to learn a little more of what drives them as the story progresses but it still will not endear you to them in any way, not even to Jay who, when all is said and done, is only driven by the same thing that drives Katy and Adam – his family.
There is a story behind the abduction, one which no-one, not the readers and not Carole herself, immediately understands and the slow reveal of this is cleverly done, keeping you turning the pages to see why and how it all plays out. There are also a few tantalising moments, scenes where it looks like Katy may be able to raise the alarm and free the family, drawing you to the point of absolute hope and then dashing it at the last moment. To be honest, that adds to the fun as who wants to read a story where everything is resolved so easily? Not me. Where’s the fun in that?
The second half of the story takes place after the family has gained their freedom in what has to be described as quite a dramatic way. It deals with the emotional aftermath, the way in which the family tries to make sense of what happened and find a new normal. But if you think it’s all gushy introspection then you are wrong. This is a Tom Bale book. The action isn’t over yet. Once again Adam find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, drawn into a fight which will hopefully end their ordeal once and for all, or where he will at the very least die trying. There are some of the biggest moments of action in he final pages of this book, the scenes in which you learn how far a father will go to protect his family. Tom Bale really keeps us on edge and ups the ante in terms of drama and tension as you speed towards a final showdown. Truly gripping stuff.
Now, like the lasagna scene in See How They Run, there are times in this book when you have to suspend disbelief a little but I am completely fine with that. If not I’d be reading true crime – this is fiction. If I did have one criticism it would be over the tag line as I don’t think it fully fits the story. They didn’t ‘stop to help’, but I guess ‘you stopped to swap insurance details instead of phoning the police to report a failure to stop RTC’, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it … I love Tom Bale’s books exactly for the sense of escapism I get from them, along with characters who create strong feeling, both good and bad, and storylines which grip you from the off and keep you invested to the very last heart stopping moments of action.
Gripping, full of tension and some real nail-biting action, I loved reading this book. So nice to have Mr Bale back. If you would like to read One Dark Night for yourself then it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Tom Bale is the author of nine books, including the bestsellers SEE HOW THEY RUN and ALL FALL DOWN. His latest book, ONE DARK NIGHT, is out October 23rd 2018.
Social Media Links
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