MINM Review: This Dark Place by Claire Kittridge

Compelling and suspenseful, with a wonderful hook, This Dark Place is the very strong debut of American crime novelist Claire Kittridge and independent publisher, Delicate Prey. Fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza need to put this author on their must read lists, stat!

For years, there has been an attraction to the intersection between England and the United States in popular culture. In recent decades, there was the movie "Notting Hill", in which an American, superstar actress (portrayed by an American, superstar actress) pops into the London shop of a charming, unassuming, English bookseller. The fascination only grew when another American actress portrayed (controversially, perhaps) the beloved British character Bridget Jones, and "sang" along with "All By Myself" in her London flat, while American show Frasier played on mute on the telly. And of course, the entire world witnessed the merging of these two cultures with the recent royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

As a lover of both UK crime fiction and New York City (a visit to the UK is on my bucket list), imagine my delight to learn of the inspired premise of This Dark Place: in short, the wealthy and connected father of a New Yorker who had been studying in London, hires a tough, female, New York homicide detective to travel to London, and to work with the London Metropolitan Police to investigate his daughter's death. What follows is a confidently-written, "chilling British thriller with an American twist". Among the many qualities to love are an endearing, diverse cast of characters, and their relationships, that you will want to revisit and learn more about in future series installments, a truly creepy villain, the identity of whom will keep you glued to the pages to discover, a dark and gritty plot with numerous red herrings, an ending that leaves open the possibility that Detective Kelly Moore might remain in England for yet another case, and a final section that was so gripping it had me holding my breath, and had my heart actually racing.

Author Claire Kittridge is the real deal - if this is only her debut novel, I feel quite confident that she has a bright crime writing future ahead!

This Dark Place by Claire Kittridge book cover image.jpg

Best for Crime Fiction Readers:

  • Who enjoy the settings, banter, colloquialisms, and tone of British police procedurals.
  • Who enjoy UK crime thrillers.
  • Who enjoy reading about the NYPD, and New York City culture, in their crime fiction.
  • Who appreciate crime novels that are relatively short in length, with chapters that often end in "mini cliff hangers" that propel the story forward.
  • Who appreciate crime fiction that features resilient, determined, human, female protagonists.
  • Who love to discover new crime novelists who are at the beginning of their careers.

Pages: 252 (kindle)

Publisher's Blurb:

Priscilla’s body lay motionless on the couch in front of her. They were blood sisters, but Avery never thought it would end like this - thrust against her will into this dark place.

When the brutal death of a young American theater student in London is splashed across headlines worldwide, NYPD Detective Kelly Moore flies across the Atlantic to join a crack team of British investigators on the case.

Together with the London Metropolitan Police, Kelly must track down a twisted killer who seems to know her every move. As the body count rises, and panic spreads, the killer threatens to make Kelly the next victim.

In a heart-racing game of cat and mouse, Kelly must outwit this elusive master of surveillance – who might be the last person she suspects.

This Dark Place is the first novel in the Detective Kelly Moore series, introducing a tough, streetwise cop who will go to any lengths to catch a killer.

Fans of Robert Bryndza, Karin Slaughter, and Rachel Abbot will love discovering this thrilling new series today.

MINM Overall Rating: 4.75/5