*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Murder in the Dark – Book 6 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Green #Brainfluffbookreview #MurderintheDarkbookreview


This book cover looks creepy and rather horrific, but while there are murders and poor old Ishmael Jones is taking it all very seriously, this book has its tongue firmly in its cheek…

“The past is England’s dreaming, and not all of it sleeps soundly…”
Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny have been despatched to assist a group of scientists who are investigating a mysterious black hole which has appeared on a Somerset hillside. Could it really be a doorway to another dimension, an opening into another world? When one of the scientists disappears into the hole — with fatal consequences — Ishmael must prove whether it was an accident — or murder. But with no clues, no witnesses and no apparent motive, he has little to go on. Is there an alien predator at large, or is an all-too-human killer responsible? Only one thing is certain: if Ishmael does not uncover the truth in time, more deaths will follow…

I’m not sure at what point I began to see the funny side of this adventure, but when I did, there was a fair amount that set me quietly chuckling. Green’s dark humour is more apparent and gory in his Deathstalker series, but I found this version more enjoyable.

If you are looking for foot-to-the-floor action adventure, then you’ll be disappointed. Apart from the body count, which rises alongside the tension as Ishmael tries to work out exactly who or what is annihilating the wretched team of scientists stuck on the hill on a dark, dark night, there isn’t a lot that actually happens. Think of a locked room mystery in the middle of the English countryside. However, there are plenty of possible suspects – including what may or may not be emerging from that creepy hole – and lots of enjoyable character clashes and conflicts, which Green writes very well. The bonus for those who have followed the series, is that during this investigation we get to know a bit more about Jones’ shadowy past and hints that it might be catching up with him.

One of the joys of this series is his relationship with Penny, his girlfriend and dauntless sidekick – it’s rare to find a truly happy couple in these sorts of adventures and I hope it stays that way. Their snarky exchanges and domestic bickering about Penny’s driving and lack of cooking skills somehow helps to highlight just how weird it’s all got – and won’t it be nice to get back to normality…

Highly recommended if you like a bit of humour thrown in with the paranormal shenanigans – and the bonus is that this is the sort of series that you can jump in anywhere without losing too much of the context. While I obtained an arc of Murder in the Dark from Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.

20 responses »

    • Oh, me too, Rae! I’m not all that quick at ‘getting it’. And quite often – particularly with literary reads – I read a review chortling about the delicious dark humour, when I come away not remotely amused at the bitter cynical tone… Thankfully, this one isn’t like that!

  1. Based on that cover, I never would have guessed that there was so much dark humor in this book. I love dark humor so this sounds a story I could really get into. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    • You’re welcome, Suzanne. I know – the cover is really misleading, which is a shame because at a time when I really needed it, there was plenty of quiet giggles to be had:)

  2. Well I’m working my way thru the Deathstalker series. So I know the humor you mention. Is he as wordy here as he is in Deathstalker? I’m sure I’d like this as I enjoy mystery as much as scifi or in addition to anything. Just like I like a touch of romance in books. Thanks for the review. Anne – Books of My Heart

  3. A humorous, paranormal mystery. You would not expect that looking at the cover. I know it has its dark themes as well, but it looks like it would be a straight up mystery. Wonderful review.

    • Thank you, Carla:). Oh yes – while there is a quiet humour, the mystery is taken very seriously. One of the people not laughing about any of this is Ishmael Jones…

  4. Oh, Simon R. Green! This year I’ve been reading his Swords of Haven (compilation of 3-books of Hawk & Fisher adventures) and I’m enjoying it a lot. From what I’ve heard, his other books are even better, so I’ll keep an eye on this series (though I will start from book 1 😉 ).

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