Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

-Rivers – Mal

Murderous Reviews – Black Light – Mal Rivers (2012)

Black Light

This novel could have done with some judicious editing before publication. The use of both ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ in completely the wrong grammatical context is frankly unacceptable. I would also have asked someone who lived in London to read through the first draft since this is not a London I would ever recognise. One of the many murders that occur in this book takes place in ‘a posh hotel in White City’. As I happen to live fairly near I can guarantee that there are no posh hotels in White City. It’s mainly housing estates and kebab shops. It’s also not clear why the author chose to intersperse fictional areas of London with real ones.
To digress for a moment, when I first read the blurb for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ I immediately (and I think wisely) dismissed it merely because of the fact that the author had chosen to call her characters Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey. ‘Dark Light’ almost went the same way. Aaron Light, an all round genius, but puzzled by the disappearance of his father, meets Alexa Black, a police-sergeant, when he temporarily becomes a suspect in the murder of the police-chief’s daughter.
Having helped the police with his Holmes-like expertise on a previous occasion, Aaron is asked to consult on this latest case, a series of murders of young people where the message ‘The Fall Children will perish’ is scrawled in blood on the wall.
On the whole, despite the stupid names and the odd view of London, it’s not a bad read, and drags nazi science, clandestine organisations and genetic engineering into the mix. It could do with a decent overhaul though, and some life being blown into some of the minor characters. However, maybe that will be dealt with in the sequels.