Cover Image: Dark Waters

Dark Waters

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Well written but I am afraid this was too graphic for me.. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it
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Annabelle has gone for a drive when she swerves to avoid a girl and crashes her car. She awakens not in a hospital but somewhere far scarier. DI Monica Kennedy is investigating the disappearance of two men after remains are found. Could there be a link and just what is going on at that remote location. 

This is book 2 in the series and having read book 1 I was looking forward to this. It did not disappoint.  It's a very dark and twisted story but well written. The plot is steady and builds to a brilliant dramatic end. The story switches between Monica and Annabelle which worked really well. The ending was so good and finished the story well. I love Monica though and Crawford is a brilliant partner for her to be teamed up with. Another great addition to the series and I look forward to more.
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This book surprised me. I felt it was a slow but fascinating  start it certainly built up to a tense finale.
DI Monica Kennedy and her team , particularly Crawford and Khan, really stood out to me I hope I can read more books that feature them in the future.
I liked the two separate storylines building alternately through the book, I felt it added to the tension. You have no idea when the story starts of where it is going but the stories start to blend nicely together.
Great book , definitely need to go back and read the first book because Monica Kennedy and her family are intriguing.
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Vintage for the ARC copy of this book.
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*shudders*

*whispers out side of mouth* I think there’s something wrong with this author...

Yet, what does it say about me that I’d read it all over again?! Well, maybe not straight away. A drink (or two) of the alcohol variety would be needed first, me thinks! *snorts*

I was honestly starting to wonder if I needed the help of an old priest and a young priest... *shrugs*

You may laugh, but I’m being serious here. Pfft!

D.I. Monica Kennedy returns in her most chilling case to date (and it’s only flipping Book 2). Note to self: never, I repeat, NEVER drive along any private roads in the Highlands – that is all!!

The storyline reminded me off two films that unsettled me as a teenager. I’m worried it’ll give too much away if I mention them here so all I’m going to say is come and find me when you’ve finished, and we can discuss. Coz, frankly, I think free therapy sessions should come with this book – *sings* justsayin’!

Like From the Shadows, Dark Waters is an unputdownable read, and I wish I could say that I read it in one sitting... but, alas, no – I was so unnerved at times that I had to have a wee break. Talk about making the hair on the back of your neck stand on end!

I’m doing a really crap job of selling this book to you, aren’t I?! *snorts*

Dark Waters is dark, chilling, and addictive crime read. Plus, you all know how much I love it when history is woven into a story. What a spin this one takes – jeepers! (Apologies *hangs head*, I have no idea where that jeepers came from.)

Monica proved yet again why she is such a fascinating multifaceted character, the developing relationships with her colleagues, more tantalising teases of her backstory, her mum and little Lucy. I didn’t want to say goodbye (but I’m scared of what’s coming next, lol). 

Thank heavens it’s the light nights just now – if this were the winter months you can guarantee my house would be lit up like Blackpool Illuminations tonight. G.R. Halliday, you have a lot to answer for!!

Roll on Book 3!!
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I knew when I read the first book, From the Shadows, that this series had real promise so as soon as this the sequel appeared on NetGalley I couldn’t resist requesting immediately and I was not disappointed. Halliday has kept all that made From the Shadows such a great read and come up with something even better.

The story picks up a few months after the events of the first book with DI Monica Kennedy and the rest of the team still trying to come to terms with everything that happened. When a dismembered body is found however Monica is called to the scene and finds herself back on the hunt for another serial killer. At the same time it seems there may be something or someone hunting unsuspecting tourists who wander into remote areas alone.

It’s an incredibly dark and creepy read with a few moments which could easily come from a horror film, think Deliverance or Wrong Turn. I do love a creepy tale but even I found myself checking all of the doors and windows in my house to make sure no one could get in. I wouldn’t describe it as a fast paced or action packed read but there’s a real tension to the story that makes it very difficult to put down.

Main character, Monica Kennedy makes for an intriguing main character. I wouldn’t necessarily describe her as likeable or relatable but there’s something about her determination to get to the truth and her love for her daughter you can’t help but admire. In this outing we also get a little more of her backstory, her relationship with her parents and her father in particular seems to be on her mind a lot. It feels like there’s some real character development and I found myself wanting to know more about her.

I also very much enjoyed the sections from the point of view of kidnap victim Annabelle. Her fear at her captivity and the mystery around where she is and what is going to happen to her makes for compelling reading. I did have my doubts around whether I liked her at the start, she seems quite superficial, but I found myself really admiring her and rooting for her. She has such determination to escape and to survive no matter what.

The real highlight of this story was for me however the setting. The beauty and the wildness of the Scottish Highlands are used to full effect by Halliday. There’s a sense of isolation and remoteness that adds to the dark and chilling atmosphere. I loved the use of the small and insular communities who live by their own laws and don’t welcome strangers. There’s no technology, no internet or social media and barely any phone signal. In some ways it sounds like the perfect escape from the modern world but if you’re alone and need help it’s terrifying.

Similar to my thoughts on the first book though I do feel like Dark Waters would benefit from a few lighter moments to balance out the darkness. I can understand why the author decided to keep the tone the same throughout, there’s not really a lot to laugh about in kidnapping and murder, but it’s just so unrelentingly dark. Even when Monica is spending time with her family or when she’s in the car with Crawford there’s no lightness and I think it really needed it.

I also would have liked a little more background on Crawford, Fisher and the new member of the investigative team. We do find out a little more on Fisher this time around but it’s not quite enough to make him feel like a fully rounded character. I felt like we got to know more around victim Annabelle.

Despite these minor niggles though I thought this was a great read and one I’d recommend to anyone looking for a dark and atmospheric murder mystery.
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Monica Kennedy #2
set in the Scottish Highlands. Monica is working on some mundane cases after the trauma of the last case. But she,s been called in to investigate a body that's been discovered with the limbs missing. There's also Annabelle who is missing.

The opening chapter grabbed my attention and kept it there until the end. The scenery and the locations the author mentions are beautiful and they are well described. This is another quite grey read so it's definitely not for the faint hearted. The storyline is complex with a dark and gory feel to it. The chapters are told alternately by Annabelle and Monica's perspectives. I recommend that you read the first book in this series before you read this one as you need the backstory.

i would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and the author G.R. Halliday for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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On the blog I do like to move from genre to genre. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ve a soft spot for books that hover on the edges. Crime we tend to think either of Holmesian logic puzzles or social commentary but sometimes the gory fascination with bad things that happen to people mean cases easily move across to horror. There is a rich seam of authors crossing the boundary John Connolly, Phil Rickman and Carol O’Connell come to mind. In Dark Waters we return to the Scottish Highlands for another nightmarish case for DI Monica Kennedy and her team only just recovering from the events of From the Shadows.

Six months from the last case DI Kennedy has been taking a sabbatical from the more serious crimes – taking time in the traffic department and trying to spend more time with her daughter Lucy. But a horribly disfigured corpse is found in the waters of a Highland dam; then another is found on the hills and it becomes clear something evil is out there. DI Kennedy is required once more. Meanwhile Annabelle an English woman visiting family decides to take her care on a remote mountain road for a spin…crashes…and finds herself severely injured and trapped awaiting a mysterious Doctor’s ministrations. She can hear his other patients too.

This story feels very much towards the horror end of a crime novel. Halliday’s Highlands are dark, wild and filled with places the laws of society don’t seem to apply. They seem to attract people who relish allowing their wilder sides to play. Whenever the team leave Inverness it feels like they’re in a different and more dangerous world. Gangs, thugs and monsters can all play here – and probably be all three at once. The mood of this novel is dark and oppressive. It is not a comfortable read. A big part of that is spending time with Annabelle and her entrapment in a dark and unpleasant cell and seeing her confined to a bed severely injured. Halliday does a great job of painting this woman’s life and we see her as a lost soul trying desperately to regain the confidence to read. Her scenes tend to be the most chilling and worrying.

Outside of the cell we get once more to see DI Kennedy in action. She is a fascinating character – literally standing out in a crowd with her six foot two height but also that she doesn’t seem to fit any world comfortably – police or her own local area. In this story we get to understand more of her childhood and her relationship with her father. This draws dark parallels with other characters and starts to make the case quite poignant for her too as she tries to set old ghosts to rest. I also liked in the story that we see the previous book’s traumatic ending was not forgotten. Kennedy’s team themselves are carrying the wounds of the book and we see them all act out of character. Only one book in and we already know how they should behave is a good sign of a new cast bedding into a series. One other stranger element which feels like this could be a growing thread is the eerie behaviour of Kennedy’s daughter Lucy who seems to see and dream things that she should have no awareness of. At the moment this makes the story hover on the verges of the supernatural and I’m intrigued if this is an eventual avenue for the books that may also explain some of the nastier elements lurking out in the mountains.

The tone is grim and almost hopeless as the team take steps into some very dark places. It does feel like another world in certain scenes and the finale is particularly heart racing as we realise what the true face of the horror involved is. Halliday has mixed in various old legends and crimes for the area and made it feel very textured – you’re walking into places and people with a past. Not everyone is willing to share either.

I think a book very much for those who enjoy their crime bordering horror. Strange imagery and characters who feel more like nightmares than villains abound, and the location really amplifies that feeling. Its an impressive two books to date and I’m intrigued what the long-term plan for the series and DI Kennedy will reveal as more secrets I suspect lie in waiting.
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This was even creepier than the first book, which means it was an automatic amazing read for me.

DI Monica Kennedy is back, after taking six months of ‘normal’ work, needing the break from her last case. She’s spent more time with her daughter Lucy and tried to push the events of the horrific investigation out of her mind.

Unfortunately, there’s a mysterious dead body and her boss needs Kennedy back on the case.

I really enjoyed seeing Kennedy in her element as DI again and was surprised by how happy I was that she still had Crawford as her partner.

She wasn’t the only one having a rough time though and it appears Fisher is going through some things as well. With everyone dealing with their personal lives in the background, the case takes precedence. There’s another body, there’s something fishy about it all and Kennedy senses that things are more connected than they appear.

I loved that this was another dark and gritty Scottish Highlands crime noir. Halliday has it down to a science already after only two books. There’s such a creeping darkness and an almost supernatural element to it that my dark heart was leaping with joy.

Halliday’s writing style makes the chapters fly by and soon you’re reading this book at 3:30 AM and needing to know how it all ends.

There have been two bodies, but there are more victims, and as they find out that this one is connected to them in a way never expected, Kennedy takes on the clock to try and save the latest victim.

Absolutely loved Kennedy’s resolve and her inner reflections on her past as she deals with the case.

This was better than the first book, but after watching Deliverance and then reading this, I think I’ll be staying far away from remote areas.

You also may want to keep a light on to fall asleep with after reading this in the dead of night lol.

Perfect Scottish crime noir wrapped in a delightfully addictive and dark package.

4.5/5 cups of coffee from me, thank you to Vintage and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion as part of this tour!
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4.25 Stars
Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands to escape, as she speeds along a deserted mountain road, she is suddenly forced to swerve. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will be here soon’. Scott is camping alone in the Scottish woodlands when he hears a scream. He starts to run in fear of his life. Scott is never seen again.
Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy has been called to her first Serious Crimes case in six months – a dismembered body has been discovered, abandoned in a dam. Days later, when another victim surfaces, Monica knows she is on the hunt for a ruthless killer.
This is the second book in the series & what a series this is turning out to be, dark, chilling & utterly engrossing. I love Monica who is recovering from her last case & she’s once again joined by DC Conor Crawford and DC Ben Fisher who are presumed to be fine after the last case but they are both still recovering and a new member DC Maria Khan joins the team. I loved the book  & felt drained when I’d finished it, whilst I totally understand the darkness of the book I would have liked some lighter moments & it’s not a book to read late at night
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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There is nothing that will prepare you for the full force and dark atmospheric of Dark Waters by GR Halliday. This book will sweep you off your feet and carry you on a disturbing journey where every detail matters in the fight for survival…

Halliday is a master storyteller and since his debut novel From the Shadows, his skill level has increased tenfold. Dark waters is darkly captivating without flourish or artificial methods because Halliday’s writing style draws you in by using the vivid elements into this world to influence how the reader reacts.

Halliday is clearly remarkably familiar with Inverness, the location for his novels, and is able to use that for full artistic effect. The dense forest it fells oppressive and almost alive, claustrophobic which Monica herself feels as she is looking for clues, the dark caves and deep burrowing tunnels are hellish in appearance…

And all these elements marry together beautifully through the plot of the story, resulting in a dark, suspenseful, and eerie story that made my heart beat so much faster (I actually noted on page 63 that I’m forgetting how to breathe and my heart is racing). The story is told mainly from the POV of DI Kennedy, but occasionally to flick to other character’s perspectives, usually Annabelle, and I think it added so much more to the story to almost know what is happening, but not really giving you anymore and increasing suspense. The pacing is brilliant, slow in places to build the momentum, then your heard is going wild with so much anxiety for the characters – I almost screamed at them a few times out loud!, and the short chapters will keep you turning the page.
Also, the cogs moving the plot forward have logical sense and I did not sense any artificiality to get the story from A to B, instead the characters moved it all along beautifully.

In Dark Waters we get to know more about Monica’s team, delve deeper into their lives, all with purpose and meaning. It is clear that Halliday has been doing his homework and knows plenty about Police procedures and investigations. Made me chuckle a few times as in true detective style, nobody is bothering to take their radios with them and it made me stupidly happy that some typical thriller/horror clichés were considered for 0.5 seconds, then dismissed and did the rational thing! YESSSS!!!! 🙌 I love it when characters are not being dumb for the plot.
Some of the characters in Dark waters are unbelievably well written, their psychology and motivations making awful sense even in their madness. I really appreciate the efforts that Halliday put into creating believable madness.

Omg, I enjoyed this book so much and by that I mean: I felt every single emotion, I was drawn into the atmosphere of the novel and I got scared… a lot.
I thoroughly recommend this book, you can read it without From the shadows, however it would be far more enjoyable as certain aspects of the character’s emotions would make a lot more sense.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is the second in the DI Monica Kennedy series, picking up around six months after the last book finished. Monica and her team are adapting back to work after taking time to recover from the mental rigours of their last case. The case that crops up concerns bodies found in remote glens, that appear to be horrifically mutilated, but what happened to the victims, and how are they connected? 

I recently read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I feel that this book is a strong addition to what is shaping up to be a fantastic series! If anything, I enjoyed this book even more than the first, as the characters develop a bit more and the mysteries unravel. The setting is great and is almost another character in itself - I’m familiar with some of the areas described and they are extremely beautiful and a bit foreboding. The mystery here is great, it was graphic but I thought it was extremely well written and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this - a fantastic addition to Scottish crime fiction. I’ll be keenly awaiting the third book in the series!
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Wow ,what a fabulous read, Dark Waters is a chilly ,creepy ,dark story set in the Scottish Highlands this book grips from the first chapter  and doesn't let go,a real page turner .Full of twists and turns and creepy characters I really liked Detective Monica Kennedy and her team ,I can't wait to read the next book in the series .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review .
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This is the second G.R. Halliday book that I have read and again, it features DI Monica Kennedy. Like its predecessor, this book is dark, menacing and atmospheric. It is set in the far north of Scotland around Inverness and the northern Highlands. A girl crashes her car but wakes up to find herself captive. Simultaneously, a body is found near a hydro-electric dam. These two cases are investigated by DI Kennedy's team of Crawford and Fisher. You don't have to have read the first book to have read this one but I found it did give background to the main characters. The book is a cross between police procedural and psychological thriller. I did quite enjoy it but at times did wish it could be faster paced. Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
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If you like your thrillers a little dark, full of twists and turns, with fantastic characters giving the story new leads and information at every turn then grab a copy of this book!!  A fantastic read where I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, ever eager to find out what would happen next.  The pace and drama are totally engrossing and the narrative given by the main victim along with our protagonist DI Monica Kennedy was superb.

Following the end results of book one, Monica has cut back on her work by temporarily joining the traffic department, allowing herself time to heal and to spend more time with her young daughter Lucy.  However whilst out on a trip to the cinema, Monica receives her first call in months from her old boss back in MIT.  She is needed back!  After the discovery of a dismembered body in the more remote parts of the Scottish Highlands Monica joins back up with Crawford, Fisher and new team member Khan, on what turns out to be a major murder and abduction investigation.

Yet again the Highlands and their landscape and weather are wonderfully evoked and it was great to meet back up with the team and we learn a little more about them in this new book.  They also seem a little closer after the events of book one.  I loved the way each chapter was told mainly from the point of view of each of the two main characters and how they overlapped within the time frame of the investigation, plus a few back stories and earlier events which gave the story insights into the crimes taking place.  There are a number of characters but the author introduces them well, as you read about their involvement and learn of yet another lead for Monica and her team to follow up.

The chapters told by Annabelle are quite graphic and scary but boy did I found my heart pumping at each of her attempts to escape. Towards the end of the book the story line from Annabelle and Monica are full of such tense drama and adrenaline, and I loved the way their actions are told, one after another, so that you can follow them getting closer and closer but will it all be too late???

This second book can easily be read as a standalone but I've so enjoyed reading these two books that I can't wait for book three and further enjoyment from this new series.

Thanks so much to Mia from Vintage, for my place on the tour and bringing this new series to my attention.
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I really enjoyed this book, though be warned - it is not for the faint hearted!! Annabelle is on a driving holiday in the highlands of Scotland when she swerves off the road to avoid a little girl. The next thing she knows is that she is in an underground room, clearly being held captive, and being told that ' the Doctor' will be coming to see her soon. DI Monica Kennedy and her team have been called to investigate the discovery of 2 bodies which have been dismembered and dumped in a dam. This is a fast paced, page turner of a novel, which I recommend as an exciting read. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
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Many Thanks to Net Galley, Random House UK/Vintage Books and the author for a chance to read and review this book. 

#DarkWaters #NetGalley

Oh God, what have I just read? One of the most disturbing and troubling book that I have come across in some time, G R Halliday’s Dark Waters is terribly dark, so dark that I would like to give fair warning to readers that there are descriptions of dismembered bodies so gruesome that can make you feel nauseated.

Fans of thrillers have nothing to worry, Dark Waters with Monica Kennedy is a book that need to be read and have to say this, to be READ in order to understand the whys and whats of Monica’s trauma. This is book #2 and like always with me, haven’t read the first one, and there’s quite a bit of references to the previous case that has affected her and her team. Dark Waters continues from that previous case where in DI Monica has become so paranoid and worried about her young daughter Lucy that she’s taken to sleeping on the couch. I loved her team of Crawford, Fisher and Khan. Khan’s character is yet to be fleshed out fully but there’s a sense of solidity to her presence. 

Anabelle is on a road trip to the highlands when she meets with an accident. But as her blackness recedes, Anabelle discovers that her troubles are just beginning. The story alternates between Anabelle and the investigation into the discovery of the 2 corpses found in the glen, dismembered and mutilated. Monica’s enquiries take her deeper into her own mental anguish as Lucy begins sleep-walking and giving out cryptic and distressing warnings.

There’s a sense of otherworldliness throughout the book with its setting in Inverness and the glens, the dam and its tunnels, the story gliding thru many POV’s before the adrenaline pumped climax. I loved how the author has used the bleakness of the place in creating a menacing and scary thriller that would probably leave me with nightmares with the kind of visceral images that the story left me with. It was interesting to see how the readers are made aware of Annabelle’s plight and about her captors but the grab your throat tension never lets up steam as Monica inches closer to the finish line. 

Incredibly well-written, Dark Waters by G R Halliday is a must read for fans who love atmospheric thrillers.
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This is a well written detective novel, but personally, I was put off by the gruesome details.  Many readers, however, will enjoy these parts of the book.  The lead detective is an engaging character.  This is the second in a series, but also reads well as a stand alone novel.
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I've enjoyed this story. It involves what appears to be two separate stories that might or might not come together at some stage. Of course, we know they will, but how?

Can the same kidnapper be involved with the dismembering of several bodies  and what is the link between these dead souls?

The characters are well rounded very early into the book. We know enough about the detective team to understand their backstory. The evil kidnapper obviously understands the tunnels that we are told about, but what's the connection?

This read keeps you wanting to turn pages and that's always a good sign. Whether Monica can solve the crimes before more deaths, well, I can't give that away.

I recommend this book to mystery and thriller readers and look forward to more by this writer. I enjoyed the north of Scotland as a backdrop, having never visited the area, but now feel that i know a little more about the zone.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this novel, an excellent read.   I haven’t read the authors previous works, and although mentioning the previous cases for Monica, I don’t think this detracted from enjoyment.  Reminded me slightly of James Oswald's McLean series, for its depictions of Scotland and the odd goings on with a mystical twist whilst still being a who dun it and police procedural.   5 stars all round. And looking forward to the next in the series
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After reading the debut, From the Shadows, by this author I could not wait to read the follow up. And it didn't disappoint. After the trauma of her last case Monica Kennedy has been working on the more mundane side of her work and spending time with her daughter. She is called back and reunited with her team after the discovery of a body missing arms and legs. So begins another gory and disturbing case - yet again, not for the faint hearted! Set again in the highlands - an area the author obviously knows well - giving yet again a bleak and chilling setting.  Definitely edge of the seat reading with characters who are developing in the series.
Another six months away? And then please another case for Monica and her team.
Many thanks to Netgalley/G.R. Halliday/Random House for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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