Read of the Week

Clearing the Dark

Hania Allen

Little Brown

Review: Simoné* De Bruin

Set in Dundee in Scotland, this crime novel features Polish detective Sergeant Dania Gorska, an unusual but refreshing main character and protagonist who loves her ubrówka vodka, a flavoured Polish vodka liqueur, which contains a bison grass blade.

The detective is also an accomplished concert pianist, who does her best thinking over her cases when she is playing the classics.

This is the second book that Hania Allen, of Polish descent herself, has written featuring the detective; the first being The Polish Detective.

In Clearing the Dark, Dania is called to investigate the shooting of a young man on a Dundee street, the nail hammered into his forehead suggests that local gangster, Archie McLellan has left his calling card.

Clues point to his involvement in an illegal replica firearms venture, a scam that may include other members of the infamous McLellan family.

The chance discovery of human remains buried in the grounds of Breek House, once owned by the McLellans, convinces Dania the two cases must be related. But who was the mysterious tenant of Breek House at the time the bodies were put into the ground? Identifying them is complicated as all the teeth have been removed – postmortem, to prevent identification? Or was the back room at Breek House used by the McLellans as a torture chamber?

As Dania moves closer to discovering what went on at Breek House, she disturbs dangerous secrets from the past which threaten the lives of those in the present.

While I found the story line to be lagging in places and the plot ending with the case solved but the investigation remaining open as the prime suspect is still at large, I very much look forward to reading The Family Business, the third instalment featuring the intriguing Polish detective and what makes her tick.

We received 61 entries in our competition for a copy of Tony Park’s book Last Survivor and the lucky winner was Lesley van der Merwe of Plumstead.