The Weight of Shadows is a hugely entertaining thriller in an uncompromising game of cat and mouse between law-enforcement, criminal gangs and cold-blooded killers. Each encounter leaves a climate of unnerving consequences and terror. Karl Holton has written one of the best thrillers and detective characters that I’ve read this year.
Karl Holton’s character, Detective Danny Benedict, exudes personality, intelligence and traits that he himself tries to restrain. This is very clever writing and we come to consider Benedict as socially awkward, being abrupt and harshly honest, but he often recognises that he should say something positive or constructive even though it’s against his natural tendency. It makes the personal interactions naturally intriguing rather than the contrived discourse that just doesn’t fit. He is a super-intelligent detective who sees situations, motives and clues that those around him fail to recognise. His investigative analysis and deductive skills are expertly woven into the plot and the dialogue flows perfectly.
The Weight of Shadows has one of the best prologues I’ve read. It immediately hooks you into a world of clever, tense and horrific expectations. The astute detective is matched by a super intelligent serial killer, a relationship that exists in the background but is expected to have a huge impact on Benedict when he least expects it. The prologue gives a sense of the mood and pace of the narration as the premise is teased in front of you and then cloaked.
Several crimes are planned and executed in seemingly unrelated ways. A jewellery robbery in London involves a London based gang, led by Connor, with all the planning and control coming from a Serbian gang, led by Vuk. This gang is ultimately handled by a Ukrainian Bratva, where Kuzma, is the ruthless, unflinching and vicious Godfather. After the perfectly planned jewellery robbery has been delivered, Connor is found dead in a brutal and horrific manner. Benedict, since the prologue incident, has been transferred to the National Crime Agency and is asked to return to assist the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command, which isn’t welcomed by everyone.
Shortly after the horrific murder of Connor another body is found with the same modus operandi but are they the same killer, a copycat, a red herring or the intended kill? You’ll not be disappointed in your search to figure this out. The death toll mounts, however, someone will go to any financial or operational lengths to stop the murder of a valuable kidnapped victim.
Ray Hanson is another major character in the story and from a difficult childhood has become an expert in hiding dirty money and laundering it. He has amassed enormous wealth and with it, an opportunity to hide his identity and his illegal past. The mysterious Ray Hanson now appears honest and helpful towards the authorities but there is a threat against him that requires him to assemble a crack team of individuals with military, investigative, analytical and cyber-surveillance skills. Benedict will be one of the targets for his team, and he will need him and others to stop what’s coming.
“Hanson allowed himself a brief smile. ‘So much of my life has been hidden … by shadows.’ Benedict looked up at him. ‘How did it feel under the shadows?’ ‘The weight of shadows can be devastating … I’ve been collecting them since I was a young man,’ said Hanson.”
I highly recommend this book and I would like to thank Book Funnel and Karl Holton for providing me with a copy of The Weight of Shadows in return for an honest review.