“Watching from the Dark” is about observation — who is observing, who is being observed, and what happens after the observation. This is book two in the series, and while this case stands alone, new readers are dropped into the middle of an existing situation. Some things are quickly summarized, but readers are plunged right into the action with the assumption that new booklovers will catch up. There are contextual references to other people and past cases, and the main character Jonah’s last name or position is not given until later.
As is typical in a police procedure novel, the “body” shows up early, however Lodge created a scenario that is anything but typical. A caller claimed that his girlfriend was murdered while he was talking to her on Skype, but he did not see the killer. DCI Jonah Sheens almost let the call go without a report or investigation, and later he wondered what difference it would have made if he had.
Initially, there was little information about the crime, but the investigation proceeded in an orderly, structured manner. The evidence was inconsistent, and everywhere the team looked, a new suspect popped onto the scene. The most obvious suspect was the married boyfriend who called in the crime. “That’s how it is when you’re having a bloody affair. You learn to be a constant liar.”
“Watching from the Dark” is filled with deliberate lies and false leads that complicate the investigation until it is hard to tell who is a victim and who is a diabolical killer. I received a review copy of “Watching from the Dark” from Gytha Lodge and Random House Publishing Group. It is well written and compelling. It also offers valuable advice – cover your webcam with tape; you never know who is watching YOU from dark.