Dark Memories is the third book in the DS Nikita Parekh series- I had not read the previous two before reading this and I don’t feel it entirely necessary to do so as anything that crops up from a previous novel has a brief and to the point explanation (could be an eye role inducing recap if you’re very familiar with the series, but as a newbie and someone who usually forgets previous novel plots, I found it perfect).
So how did I find reading book 3? It was so good! We start with the body of Peggy, a homeless woman, being found. Peggy is somewhat known to Nikki’s mother and soon Nikki receives copies of diary pages anonymously. Another murder takes place which feels like it’s linked somehow, and then a third murder takes place in the house of a seedy man known to Nikki’s mother who is linked to the families past and takes place opposite their unhappy and horrifically nightmarish childhood home. Under the victims body are more copies of diary entries. So now Nikki has to piece together the puzzle while trying to keep a lid on the after effects of her traumatic childhood and no longer being the lead on the investigation, it might prove tricky. She has the support of Saj, her close partner, but with media rats lurking everywhere, can she keep her personal life and history of her family from exploding in to the public eye as well as catch the killer?
Dark Memories is a novel of childhood trauma and a twisted revenge plot with some very unsavoury characters in place. It’s complex and harrowing, mostly narrated with Nikki in the lead, there are plenty of chapters with other characters leading the way which I did on occasion find confusing as I had a digital copy and I think my download messed up a bit, so character A’s time in the readers focused was immediately followed on by character B’s without a paragraph break so I had to double back on myself to make sense of the character jump-but it was well written and really sucks in the reader and emerges them in to a tale of trauma and emotions.
I really enjoyed the close working relationship between Nikki and Saj and their interactions usually bought the right amount of comic relief at the most perfect of times.
Mistry has approached a sensitive and harrowing subject with a compassion that you can only gain from in-depth research and a great deal of insight, which could possibly have been gained over years of teaching at an inner-city school (teachers are exposed to more than you think). I feel utterly compelled to read the previous two Nikki Parekh novels as well as Mistry’s previous series of crime thrillers.
About The Author
Born in Scotland but made in Bradford! Liz studied English and History at the University of Stirling where she enjoyed some of the best days of my life. Liz then moved to Bradford in West Yorkshire to complete a PGCE in Primary education at Bradford College. Here she met Nilesh, her wonderful partner, and they now have three children and two cats together as well as lifetime together and both enjoy the diversity of the city they live in.
Liz has suffered with severe depression for a number of years, and it was this that pushed her in to writing back in 2015 as a way to move forward. She also completed an MA in Creative Writing through Leeds Trinity University and was offered a two book publishing deal in 2016 (take that depression!) and since then, Liz has created some immense and wonderful characters and some unforgettable criminals within her novels.