The Box by Dan Malakin

It’s back to Mandie today for her review of The Box by Dan Malakin. With thanks to publisher Viper Books for the copy for review. Here’s what the book’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 16 June 2022
Publisher: Viper

About the Book

To save your child you must open The Box…

Ed Truman’s family is falling apart. His daughter Ally is being targeted by an alt-right incel organisation, Men Together. His house is being picketed, former clients are accusing him of sexual assault, his son won’t speak to him. And then Ally disappears.

Frantic, Ed suspects that Men Together have abducted her. But before he can go to the police, his DNA is found on the body of a young woman. Suddenly he’s the subject of a nationwide manhunt, led by the tenacious DCI Jackie Rose. Ed finds himself on the run with Ally’s friend, Phoenix, who claims to know where Ally is. But what is the truth? Is Ed a violent sexual predator? Or is he the victim of a ruthless conspiracy? The answers are in The Box. But not everyone who goes in, comes out alive…

From the bestselling author of The Regret, this heart-pounding thriller is perfect for readers of Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham and M.W. Craven.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Having really enjoyed reading The Regret by Dan Malakin I was intrigued by the blub for The Box and quickly added it to my TBR pile and I am glad that I did as it turned out to be one of those books that grabbed my attention and I devoured in two days. The opening chapter left me both excited and confused but I knew that had to find out exactly what the connection was to the rest of the story.

Ed Truman is certainly put through the wringer, his daughterAlly has gone missing, and he is being targeted at home and at work with slurs against his name after he managed to get a website for Men Together taken down. With his DNA being found on the body of a murdered girl he has no choice but to go on the run and you just know that he is not equipped physically or emotionally for what that actually entails, although that’s not to say that he didn’t surprise me (and at times himself) along the way. Thankfully for Ed there are a few strong characters that help him along the way and he is going to need them.

I liked Ally’s friend Phoenix, she is street smart and wants to find her friend as much as Ed wants to find his daughter. She clearly knows more about what has happened but she has a natural distrust of adults and when the reason is revealed you can understand why. The DCI in charge of the case was a harder one to work out as she seemed to be torn between following the rules or her gut instincts even when they put her at odds with her boss and her new DS but she doesn’t back down from a fight even when she is not sure who she can trust. 

The events happen fast and are at times in your face leaving you horrified at what is happening, but it is the nature of the subject that partially draws you in and what you learn will at times break your heart but is all too believable. In a world where so much is online it shows how quickly things can be manipulated and have the potential to destroy someone. As for the Box itself well its purpose had me wanting to throw the book across the room, but sometimes a book that will challenge you and be a little uncomfortable to read is not a bad thing and I would recommend picking this up.

About the Author

Dan Malakin has twice been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and his debut novel, The Regret, was a Kindle bestseller. When not writing thrillers, Dan works as a data security consultant, teaching corporations how to protect themselves from hackers. He lives in North London with his wife and daughter.

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