The Dangerous Kind

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Bonnier Zaffre for the ARC.
This is a really, really, well-written story and it is because of this I can say I enjoyed reading it.   Of course, the subject matter cannot in itself be described as enjoyable, but it has been skilfully woven through this excellent contemporary thriller with a level of sensitivity which avoids any necessity for graphic detail - for which I am grateful.

Jessamine Gooch is 52yrs-old, has a teenaged daughter Sarah whom she adopted at 2yrs-old.  She is a BBC presenter of a late-night discussion and call-in programme examining solved violent crimes, to determine the potential of the perpetrator to be a dangerous person and thus avoid the crime in the first place.  She also volunteers locally on the help lines for victims of domestic abuse.  Sarah's recent moodiness Jessamine puts down to teenage angst, but secretly Sarah has been drawn into an on-line relationship.
The story is split between two timelines - present day with Jessamine and Jitesh - a likeable, stuttering, intern at the BBC who works with the sound engineer, but who knows how to hack into people's email and social media accounts. 

Rowena narrates her life from 2002/2003 when she is 13yrs-old.  Brought up in a children's home we read her story of being groomed by Sunny - whom she loves and calls her boyfriend.  Gradually further exploited and sexually abused at sordid parties Sunny takes her to under the guise of helping him escape some fictitious debt.  She really wants it to stop but then Sunny introduces her to a wealthy and well-connected man, Leo, in Oxfordshire.  She continues to be abused only now it takes place in beautiful apartments with wealthy and sometimes famous men, taken there by Leo.  One night, being driven home by a 'celebrity', he stops at a building for something; worried that his car may be towed Rowena runs inside to find him, only there she witnesses something she wished she hadn't.

Jessmine is approached one evening on the steps to Broadcasting House by Marnie Clark.  Her friend Cassie Scolari, mother to Mateo, has been missing for several weeks and asks Jessamine to help as she feared Cassie's abusive husband has something to do with it.  Despite initially refusing, Jessamine gets drawn into the detail of Cassie's disappearance when Marnie delivers paperwork to her the next day.  Through circumstances (no spoiler), Jessie and Jitish join forces as she produces her own pod-cast detailing Cassie's case and asking the public for any help.

Just what is the connection between Rowena, Cassie and Jessie?  Why are there so many problems with the cabling in Jessie's studio at the BBC which Jitish is trying to trace?  Who is Sarah secretly talking with?
You just have to read it to find out the answers - and a whole lot more besides.  A really clever plot with twists to amaze you.  I loved the characters.  This was a very emotional and at times heart breaking read and of course very, very real.  You cannot help but think of the Bradford (and elsewhere) grooming gangs and the Jimmy Saville enquiry whilst reading this, as well as being aware of many domestic violence cases.  Yes, it was uncomfortable reading at times,  but so well-written.
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Our main character in this book - Jessamine- is fantastic. She is tenacious and deeply focused on trying to find out what has happened to Cassie, and why. I’m not sure this is a thriller in the truest sense of the word but it’s definitely a mystery, and a fascinating one at that. Dealing with some really hard but highly relevant themes, this book is most definitely worth a read.
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The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O'Connor is a thriller set in London. Jessamine, the main character is a reporter and a radio presenter who is approached by a woman asking her to look into the disappearance of her friend whom no-one believes has disappeared. .The narrative is strong, and the story is thoroughly engaging. I love a good thriller and this is one of the best this year. Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.
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This book kept me engaged in the storyline and characters from beginning to end. The connection between Jessamine and the BBC was such a different slant and so fascinating, as were her links to abused women and her relationship with her adopted daughter. This, entangled with a disturbing thread of abuse, really held my attention. The other characters in this well told tale are also intriguing and three dimensional and the story has twists and turns and a solid ending.

The subject matter is such that there is an under current of unease throughout the book, although, the author is extremely skilled at ensuring that, what could have been unsavoury /too much information, is balanced and never excessive.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading much more from this talented writer.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre and the author for the opportunity to preview this excellent read in exchange for this honest review.
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Despite the harrowing subject matter this was a great book - kept me gripped from start to finish. I don't want to give anything away but it brings fiction and real life together- hard to think about what went on back then and probably still goes on today. A well written story linking events from years ago to the present day.
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This story tackles some very difficult topics and while uncomfortable to read in places it is very well written and approaches the subjects of child exploitation and grooming in a sensitive and non-explicit manner. Told from four different character perspectives and two different timelines, it was occasionally a little confusing to keep up with who and where, but I think that made the ending when everything came together all the better.
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Firstly, This marvellous book covers the incredibly disturbing and horrific crimes of child sexual exploitation and prostitution and as such can be heartbreaking to read……but Deborah O’Connor’s writing is so compelling you have to keep reading right to it’s heart thumping end…..

So, the story is told in chapters by Jessamine, Rowena and Jitesh……these seem to be totally random and not linked in any way…….but oh my….just wait..!

Rowena is 13, (and in the care system) and her ‘boyfriend’ Sunny says he owes a gang money and she needs to attend ‘parties’ with older men, some she recognises as famous….to help him repay his debt. She soon realises this is a lie, but it’s too late…

Jitesh, is a young, troubled guy……a bit of a tech wizard but very shy with people. He is troubled when Meera gets involved with his old friend Kishor…..

He also works with Jessamine……..for her new podcast.

Jessamine, works for BBC radio, in a show about criminal behaviour and is it possible to identify potential violent crimes and their perpetrators. Due to a her recent outburst at the BBC, she is suspended and decides to do an independent podcast….when she is approached by a young woman, who asks her to look into the disappearance of her friend Cassie…..she is intrigued and starts her investigation…….

This leads to danger for her and her daughter…….is someone close to home responsible ?

As the stories progress, they link and all the pieces suddenly come together in such a way that made me gasp… feels so real, with the relatively recent revelations (alleged allegations)of child abuse by TV personalities and people in positions of power, heartbreaking too….poor Billy!…I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the story……yes it’s a tough subject, but Deborah O’Connor has handled it with her creative, and emotion packed writing….brilliant! .

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the Deborah O’Connor for the opportunity to read this book for free and this is my honest and unbiased review.
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This book is pitched for fans of ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ which is originally what enticed me to read this book. I’m not sure I would peg ‘The Dangerous Kind’ in the same pitch as ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ which for me was a legal thriller as there is no courtroom action in this read. The concept of ‘dangerous people’ however, in and of itself was enough to make me interested. 

We follow the story primarily from Jessamine’s point of view with flash back chapters to 2003 and Rowena’s account of what happened during that time. Jessamine is a radio presenter for the BBC and when one day she is randomly approached outside by a woman who’s friend mysteriously disappeared Jessamine’s interest is spiked and she starts looking into the unsolved case. 

Reading Rowena’s chapters was hard, from Rowena’s tender age she doesn’t appreciate that what is happening to her is wrong on so many levels. It’s absolutely sickening that young and vulnerable people are taken advantage of in this way. It doesn’t become apparent until some way through the book how Rowena and Jessamine’s stories actually fit together but rest assured, everything comes to light towards the end of the book. 

I absolutely love books that flick between the past and present and as a reader you have no idea how these two timelines fit together. I think this set up for writing when written well works on so many levels and the author worked these two storylines brilliantly. I really enjoyed how the author drew me into these characters and made me invested in what happens to them. There was no question of a doubt that I would read this book to conclusion to find out the answers to the many questions I had whilst reading.
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What a brilliant concept, a complete and utter page turner of a book I could not put down. 
Completely caught up in it the story the whole way through, this is a captivating dark read with a brilliant ending.  I'll be looking for other books from this author.
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I enjoyed this book, a very good storyline with a good cast, a reporter is asked by someone to find her friend and so it begins ..
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This was a fast paced, gripping thriller from the start. I really enjoyed my time while reading it and got curious and curiouser. I like thrillers that go between past and present, it really adds to the pace and excitement. 
I found Cassie's disappearance and the radio show aspect interesting and original. 
Some parts were harder to read, wish it was cleaner. 
But, all in all, it was a good thriller. I would read from this author again. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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“The Dangerous Kind” held my attention from the outset and kept me reading long into the night. It was intriguing to imagine how the various (seemingly unrelated) threads might end up weaving together. The themes were current and reminiscent of real news stories. Prior to reading the novel, I had never heard the term PDP. It's something I intend to research further as I imagine it's a bit of a minefield. I loved Deborah's writing style and tone so I'll be purchasing a copy of her other book and looking forward to whatever she comes up with next.
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This book drew me in with the various stories going on relating to the different characters. I had to know how all these characters would interrelate, I really felt for Rowena/Cassie and thought the groomed child perspective was so well told. I really got an understanding for what these children have to go through and the process of grooming them from adults who can sense the vulnerability of these kids. I just wanted to rescue the poor girl from the hands of those manipulating monsters. I also enjoy Jiteesh and his story and thought the issue to a sex video being taken was also an interesting and well written extra, The only part I did not like was putting Billy's body in the walls of the BBC. I felt that went a little too far, and the story would have stood up just as well without throwing that in. All in all, an enthralling read, which I had to finish even to my boyfriends detriment. I would recommend this book as a thought provoking and eye opening read dealing with very current topics. Well done!
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Brilliant. This is a real eye opener. I was gripped from the start. Some of the storyline is harrowing and hard to read. There is a lot happening in this story and I will probably reread it to make sure I did not miss anything. I really liked the idea of the radio show and how Cassie's disappearance was investigated. I liked the fact that some of the story was in the past and some of it was present day. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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This was a decent contemporary crime thriller and I was asking a lot of questions while reading it. I tried to guess some of the reveals/twists while reading!
I'm not sure the blurb or title are an accurate representation of the story as I expected this book to be about serial killers after reading just the summary! But, it's about a BBC radio journalist investigating a missing woman, and the dark world she discovers. It's an intriguing story with a worthy climax.
There are a lot of names in this book and many POVs, which was slightly over-whelming at the start. There was also a lot of separate stories and events as the book opens: sex ring, online boyfriend, murder at night, missing woman. I got to grips with it all eventually and enjoyed seeing the mother/daughter relationship from both perspectives. It's also gratifying that the tangle of stories are woven together as the book progresses, and so following the story became easier and more engrossing.
The only thing I would say about characters is that Jitesh's chapters and his subplot were almost completely pointless. His character does have a purpose in the overall story (as the tech guy) but the side story about the party and him trying to get the girl was a very strange addition to the book and could probably be cut without affecting anything at all. 
I got the feeling that the author has an interest in linguistics and accents, as there are several mentions of the ways different characters speak throughout the book. I found this a really interesting little aspect of the story as it's not something that crops up in every work of fiction.
This is one of those books that is very much "of it's time", and I mean in the sense of post-#metoo. There are themes of abuse within relationships, and victim blaming and fear of coming forward. Later on, there's a lot about the power of celebrity in sex scandals. Part of the story centres on a child sex ring, and in the hands of another author it could have become graphic and gratuitous. However, while the subject matter is obviously disturbing, O'Connor writes it effectively so the reader understand the horror but doesn't have to wade through terrible details.
Overall, a dark and well written crime thriller.
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This book was absolutely not what I was expecting, and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It follows Jessamine, who is approached by a woman to ask for help in finding her missing friend. There are several different narratives that are quite disparate in the beginning. The change between characters is a bit jarring and I can’t decide if its the writing or the structure (or a bit of both).

I thought the premise of the radio show had so much promise and it was barely used. In my head I had imagined dangerous people ringing in, making threats, a light stalking etc.

Nothing happens for about three quarters of the novel and I found myself drifting off through chunks of it. I honestly think I could have read the first half then read the end and still know everything that happened. When the story does start to heat up I cared so little for the characters that I persevered out of sheer stubbornness.

The novel tries to deal with serious issues such as adoption, domestic violence, child exploitation and abuse. It surreptitiously uses what I assume to be the Jimmy Saville scandal as part of the plot and becomes the central thread that links all the characters together.

I don’t enjoy being negative about someone’s work, but I just didn’t enjoy it and I think that’s my fault because I had an idea in my head of what it would be like and it didn’t live up to that expectation at all. I felt that the author had an idea of how the story should fit together and squeezed the plot into it.

This novel will still appeal to fans to gritty crime. It’s not quite a procedural or a detective story but it still has enough twists and turns to keep some interested.
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This thriller kept me engaged throughout the book. A story of lies, deceit and corruption 
I loved this book
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I initially thought I wasn’t going to like reading this book due to the content of abuse against minors, which I was unaware of when initially choosing the book, however I was completely wrong. I couldn’t put the book down; I liked all the main characters and felt extremely invested in the story of each one. Due to this it was quite an emotional read, I wanted everything to turn our ok for each character. I really loved reading the Dangerous Kind and I can’t wait for the authors next book.
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Review scheduled to be published on my blog - 2nd May

From the get-go I am going to state – THIS IS NOT A NEGATIVE REVIEW (but it’s also not an overly positive review).

The writing was good.

The pacing was good.

There were lots of twists that kept me guessing.

The characters, well some of them were good, but they all made for a gripping read and in particular, I loved Jessamine.

BUT and it’s quite a big but…

I just didn’t love the book, but I also didn’t dislike it.

It was probably me, not the book.


Right at the beginning I did get a bit muddled with all the different characters and timelines and then again towards the end when all the twisty turns were coming left, right and centre. At times I had to re-read a bit until I figured out why… SPOILER… was happening.

Of all the POV’s I found Jessamine’s storyline was the one that I really wanted to stick with, I loved that she was an older woman with a load of real-life problems who held it all together and still pursued her gut instinct about the disappearance. She was my sort of character.

I would like to discuss the book blurb, and in this case, it was the book blurb and not me.

The book blurb doesn’t focus or elude to the very prominent theme of child abuse. The book deals with some very dark issues and some very dark and twisted people. It’s just not something I care to read about, especially when I wasn’t expecting too. At points, the story makes for a very uncomfortable and unsettling read, which isn’t what I usually want when I pick up a novel. If I hadn’t received the book for review, I might have DNF it somewhere near the beginning.

I have read other reviews for The dangerous kind by Deborah O’Connor that use the word – relevant. And yes, novels like these are relevant, just turn on the TV and watch the news. But I do think a little heads up in the book blurb should be standard.

But for some reason or another that I’m sure I haven’t explained well the book just didn’t quite work for me. I would never tell anyone not to pick it up because I’m sure it has the potential to do well and has a lot of positives. But for me it was just ok, it was maybe even good in parts, I just didn’t love it.


After all of that, I am off to see what else Deborah O’Connor has written because I enjoyed her writing and I have a feeling I could be a fan of hers… only time and some more pages will tell.

And as a last thought.

I love, love, love the cover art.

The dangerous kind by Deborah O’Connor will be published on the 16th May 2019.

I received a copy of The dangerous kind by Deborah O’Connor from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Jessamine Gooch makes a living delving into the history of murderers for her radio show asking the question- could you have known what this person would do. One day she is approached by a woman concerned about the disappearance of her friend Cassie. The story that follows alternates between present and past and reveals a tangled web leading to the truth.

The subject matter of this book made it, at times, an uncomfortable read. The book was well written albeit a little predictable in places. I will definitely look out for other books by this author.
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