Review: Darkness Falls (Clara Pascal #1) by Margaret Murphy

Print Length: 297 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books (April 14, 2020)

From  Clara Pascal had everything. A high-flying barrister and devoted mother, she was envied by her peers. But now she lies in a dark cellar and her kidnapper will not explain why. DI Lawson leads the police team working to find her, but who is her abductor? Even her husband is not above suspicion.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This one had the potential to be a fantastic story - what bogged it down was the simple fact that there were just too many people to keep track of. Aside from Clara and her captor, there was also her husband, daughter and their "childminder", which aren't bad, but then you add in the 5 cops that I can remember off the top of my head (I'm sure there are more), their families, the other bad guys, and the numerous other people either interviewed or directly involved? 

Not only is it overwhelming, but it all jumbled together until it reached a point where I no longer cared. Sadly, there was an officer injured at one point and it had absolutely no effect on me whatsoever because I had no idea who they were. It would have been much better, in my opinion, to focus on only a couple of officers and let us get to know them and make them integral to the plot without adding all these other ones who each maybe brought in one or two things each. 

What makes this all the worse is that buried underneath the abundance of people, there were some good story-lines. I'm a little confused on the why when it comes to some of them (for example we don't really learn why one person does what they do), and when we find out why another person has taken action it doesn't make sense because they are not the only person to have been wronged by Clara. This was a classic example of "too many cooks in the kitchen". 

And speaking of Clara, I'm not really sure what to make of her and how she and her family came out of the entire ordeal. I would have thought it would give anyone pause, but then I saw this is the first in a series of books about HER instead of any of the other numerous officers we met throughout this, and I just have no interest in continuing. 

All things considered, I'm sure this book will appeal to others. In fact if the four and five-star reviews are anything to go by, I'm in the minority with my thoughts. However, I have enough books in my to-be-read pile that I can forget about this one easily enough. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                 Darkness Falls is available from

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