Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

SOMETHING WICKED by Kerry Wilkinson

Kerry Wilkinson Something Wicked

Until I read Something Wicked, I’d never heard of Kerry Wilkinson. Then, amazed at how good the book was and wondering why I’d never heard of him, I did some research. It turns out that Wilkinson’s personal successes in the writing field are just as exciting and surprising as the novel.

Wilkinson self-published his first DI Jessica Daniels book in 2011, which became a bestseller in England almost overnight. He followed that up with eight more Daniels books, two stand-alone crime novels, a YA fantasy trilogy, and Something Wicked, the first book in the Andrew Hunter series.

All while serving as a journalist and a magistrate. Four years…fifteen novels. Wilkinson is talented and prolific. Doubtless his two other jobs aid and abet his creative output, but he’s accomplished some amazing work in a short time.

Andrew Hunter was first featured in a DI Jessica Daniels novel, Playing With Fire. Wilkinson liked the character and decided to do more with him. Readers don’t have to read that book to enjoy this one (I didn’t, but I have gone back and queued up the other books to read in order).

Wilkinson’s writing is smooth and easy to grasp, and it’s in a conversational tone that makes the pages so easy to turn. Add to that, the author’s natural sense of pacing and love of riddles and mysteries kept me nailed to the pages. I read the book in two sittings, and only because I started the book late, intending to only read a few chapters. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. I finished it up the next morning.

Andrew Hunter is in his mid-thirties, a guy who’s been knocked around a bit by life and still has some deep-seated guilt (part of the mystery and confusion I love about the character). He’s partnered with a younger woman named Jenny who’s every bit as clever and interesting as he is (and I won’t reveal any more because those are Wilkinson’s surprises to spring).

At first I thought the mystery was pretty simple and straight-forward. Just a simple case of a missing person and backtracking the trail till answers were found. I was totally happy with that. Then things took a turn I didn’t see coming, and I’m betting most readers won’t either, although the foundation is laid in the novel.

Knowing this is the first book of a series means the character gets out alive at the end, but there are a lot of personal mysteries revealed, some status quo changes, and a huge cliffhanger at the end (nothing to do with the mystery in this book because that is solved) that has me on tenterhooks for the next book to see how things proceed.

As I read the novel, I couldn’t help thinking how this character, his partner, and their world could easily translate into a television series for the BBC. I’d watch it.

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