Book Reviews

The Necessary Deaths (The Delingpole Mysteries 1) by David C. Dawson

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 12-November-2019

Book Blurb

A young man. Unconscious in a hospital bed. His life is in the balance from a drugs overdose. 

Attempted suicide or attempted murder? 

British lawyer Dominic Delingpole investigates, with the help of his larger than life partner Jonathan McFadden.

Compromising photographs of senior politicians and business chiefs are discovered. 

Is the young man a blackmailer?

Dominic and Jonathan uncover a conspiracy reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. Three people are murdered, and Dominic and Jonathan struggle for their very survival in this gripping thriller.

Award winner in the 2017 FAPA President’s Awards for Adult Suspense and Thrillers.

First edition published by DSP Publications, November 2016.

Book Review

Set in Brighton, England, this is a fascinating murder mystery, character study, and an intriguing look at what happens when young people get involved in drugs – and not just the recreational kind. In fact, the young journalism student who prompts the investigation into his attempted suicide - or murder? - is only the beginning of a trail leading to a conspiracy worthy of a thriller. The main character investigating the situation and uncovering a lot of the clues is not a detective, but a lawyer who wants to help out his neighbor, the student’s mother. I love “amateur” detectives like that and thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about Dominic and his quirky lover, Jonathan. But the mystery and dark goings-on at the center of this novel thrilled me in equal measure. As far as I am concerned, ‘The Necessary Deaths’ is a very successful blend of human interest and captivating, modern-day action adventure with political and international business conspiracies to keep me glued to the pages.

Dominic is a lawyer, likes his life to be orderly and organized, and has withdrawn from “the big city” because he prefers the more sedate pace of practicing in a smaller town. He has heard enough homophobic comments, even in mostly tolerant Britain, that he keeps his sexuality pretty close to his vest where he works. It’s different when he visits his long-distance partner, but neither Dominic nor Jonathan are ready to commit full-time. It makes Jonathan insist on an open relationship that makes Dominic very uncomfortable, and this underlying difference will need to be resolved at some point if the two of them ever want to deepen their relationship. They do end up working well together solving the case of the unconscious student, even though their investigative methods are very different and Jonathan is much too adventurous and daring for Dominic’s taste.

As for the case – it is very cleverly put together. The student who ends up in a coma due to a drug overdose is only the first riddle Dominic needs to solve. Did he overdose or attempt suicide? A housemate and the student’s mother are both convinced he is not the type to do drugs at all, and this fact plus a murder attempt while the student is in hospital open up other possibilities. Incriminating photographs point at blackmail, but who is doing the blackmailing? And who is behind the other murders that happen while Dominic and Jonathan do their best to uncover the truth? I was as full of questions as Dominic and loved how he was able to find out things that remain hidden to the police. Much of the tension comes from him not always being comfortable with what he is doing and from the “discussions” he and Jonathan have about how to proceed.
If you like crafty mysteries without obvious solutions, unpredictable outcomes, and very high stakes, if the “seedy” underbelly of business and politics is a favorite subject of yours, and if you’re looking for an exciting read with complex characters who end up in mortal danger, an engaging story with more than a few twists and turns, multiple points of view that add sometimes unexpected layers to the story, and a very surprising yet satisfying ending – for now, then you will probably like this novel. I am already looking forward to more stories about Dominic and Jonathan!





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 246 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-October-2019
Price $0.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
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