Book 1 in the Delingpole Mysteries series
Size: 5.00 x 8.00 in
Award winner in the 2017 FAPA President’s Awards for Adult Suspense and Thrillers.
A young man. Unconscious in a hospital bed. His life is in the balance from a drugs overdose.
Attempted suicide or attempted murder?
British lawyer Dominic Delingpole investigates, with the help of his larger than life partner Jonathan McFadden.Compromising photographs of senior politicians and business chiefs are discovered.
Is the young man a blackmailer?
Dominic and Jonathan uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. Three people are murdered, and Dominic and Jonathan struggle for their very survival in this gripping thriller.
Meredith on Diverse Reader wrote:
Set in Brighton, England, this is a fascinating murder mystery, character study, and an intriguing look at what happens when young people get involved in drugs – and not just the recreational kind. In fact, the young journalism student who prompts the investigation into his attempted suicide - or murder? - is only the beginning of a trail leading to a conspiracy worthy of a thriller. The main character investigating the situation and uncovering a lot of the clues is not a detective, but a lawyer who wants to help out his neighbor, the student’s mother. I love “amateur” detectives like that and thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about Dominic and his quirky lover, Jonathan. But the mystery and dark goings-on at the center of this novel thrilled me in equal measure. As far as I am concerned, ‘The Necessary Deaths’ is a very successful blend of human interest and captivating, modern-day action adventure with political and international business conspiracies to keep me glued to the pages.
Dominic is a lawyer, likes his life to be orderly and organized, and has withdrawn from “the big city” because he prefers the more sedate pace of practicing in a smaller town. He has heard enough homophobic comments, even in mostly tolerant Britain, that he keeps his sexuality pretty close to his vest where he works. It’s different when he visits his long-distance partner, but neither Dominic nor Jonathan are ready to commit full-time. It makes Jonathan insist on an open relationship that makes Dominic very uncomfortable, and this underlying difference will need to be resolved at some point if the two of them ever want to deepen their relationship. They do end up working well together solving the case of the unconscious student, even though their investigative methods are very different and Jonathan is much too adventurous and daring for Dominic’s taste.
As for the case – it is very cleverly put together. The student who ends up in a coma due to a drug overdose is only the first riddle Dominic needs to solve. Did he overdose or attempt suicide? A housemate and the student’s mother are both convinced he is not the type to do drugs at all, and this fact plus a murder attempt while the student is in hospital open up other possibilities. Incriminating photographs point at blackmail, but who is doing the blackmailing? And who is behind the other murders that happen while Dominic and Jonathan do their best to uncover the truth? I was as full of questions as Dominic and loved how he was able to find out things that remain hidden to the police. Much of the tension comes from him not always being comfortable with what he is doing and from the “discussions” he and Jonathan have about how to proceed.
If you like crafty mysteries without obvious solutions, unpredictable outcomes, and very high stakes, if the “seedy” underbelly of business and politics is a favorite subject of yours, and if you’re looking for an exciting read with complex characters who end up in mortal danger, an engaging story with more than a few twists and turns, multiple points of view that add sometimes unexpected layers to the story, and a very surprising yet satisfying ending – for now, then you will probably like this novel. I am already looking forward to more stories about Dominic and Jonathan!
Mel on Alpha Book Club wrote:
The Necessary Deaths is a mystery and a romance. Sometimes these clash and sometimes they don't. This book there was a lot of push and pull with that.
The relationship part of this story features Dominic and Jonathan. Now, in my opinion O felt Dominic and Jonathan really didn't connect for me perfectly. Yes, them being a closeted couple and in an open relationship could have been what bugged me but I'm not totally sure. It wasn't a horrible pairing, just felt off. I did like Jonathan though. He was my favorite of the couple.
I will tell you this is a bit of a crazy ride. But I'll encourage you to stick with it. This isn't a flawless mystery. There's some holes in the plot. There is an overabundance or characters and that is a bit overwhelming. Secondary character wise I liked Simon for sure. He wins that award.
It's an outlandish story but it's action packed and that is what really keeps the story going. You have to step away from the "This all comes together and makes sense," mentality. Do that and you'll be quite entertained.
This is the first of a series and I hope we ca develop more connections to some of the characters and even see more of others that didn't get a lot of page time.
The title of the book didn’t quite show itself until later on… but it definitely fit the bill. The Necessary Deaths was suspense and thriller from… well, almost the beginning. When we meet Dominic, he’s presented as a boring lawyer in a long distance relationship, going about his day when he hears a commotion outside of his apartment. On the floor, his neighbor has fainted and is being treated by EMS, only to learn that his neighbor’s son is in the hospital following a suicide attempt and his mom needs to get there. It just so happens, and lucky for all of us, that it’s in the same town where his lover lives!
As the investigation unfolds, we learn more about Dominic and his boyfriend Jonathan – and it was definitely not as expected. While Dominic’s character started out quite dry, he developed and grew into an interesting and smart man throughout, with a keen penchant for finding (and following) clues. Unfortunately, the relationship between him and Jonathan, while unique and I don’t have any issues with that, fell flat – over and over again. This story is written with the focus on the suspense, not love or characters. I think I was 70 pages or so in before I even know WHO the love interest was.
Overall, it was a fun and quick read, especially if you like figuring out a who done it – with some twists and turns that got better as the story unfolded. I will say though, that if you love a super strong mystery (as in, not having a clue as to who the bad guys are), this will let you down a little – as I was able to figure it out early on. Also, if you’re into lots of love and sex, skip this one as there is definitely not a “traditional” M/M love story included, until perhaps the end.