Be careful who you trust…
The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.
I remember seeing this title a while back. The book had created quite a buzz around blogosphere. I knew I had to read it as soon as the opportunity arose.
One thing that you need to know is that this book has one of the most depraved villains. Dr. Galbraith is a twisted character with no redeeming qualities. The author gives readers a glimpse into his dark, twisted mind and his thoughts were quite scary. I found myself keenly waiting for him to meet his end or get arrested, whichever came first. At some point, I got impatient with the cops because I really wanted the case to be solved fast!
This book deals with sensitive themes of child abuse. It is not graphic but the abuse is evident so readers get to know what is going on. The story line doesn’t focus on the abuse as much as the characters and the ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, the book does start with a trigger warning. I appreciate the fact that the author decided to do this because this is definitely not going to be a book for everyone.
I thought the portrayal of the investigation was quite detailed and realistic. John Nicholls has experience working as police officer and child protection social worker and this was evident in his storytelling. The author also did a great job with the portrayal of the time period in which the story was set, 1992. One of the things that took a while to get used to was the fact that cell phones were not so common. I kept forgetting that the story is set in the early 90s and found myself getting frustrated by the characters for not using their phones and then it would hit me that most people only had landlines and phone booths back then.
Although the subject matter is quite heavy, I really liked John’s writing and how sensitive he was in portraying the theme. I also love how he created the complex, well-developed characters. The description of the time period and the setting were also well done. White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl is a compelling read.