Since investigating the disappearance of fifteen-year-old twin boys, Hingston – a young, talented Detective Sergeant, has been tormented by night terrors. On waking, he remembers a vast, golden meadow that glows with warmth and carries the sound of rapid footfalls and trouser legs pushing through grasses. A curly haired boy runs tirelessly through the meadow. The promise of adventure is lost when the sickening ache of death seeps into Hingston’s bones. Feeling suffocated and tortured, melodic chimes calm him and his panic subsides. Signed off and leaving the office, a key inexplicably falls from Hingston’s investigation file. Intrigued, he takes it with him, escaping London for Dartmouth where his investigative race begins. Stalked by a challenging elderly woman and hindered by his boss, his determination to solve the case draws him into the supernatural world that connects a murderous past to the present.
Hingston’s Box is Decima Blake’s debut and it was also a very special book in terms of genre. Why? Because it was both a police procedural and a supernatural story. How many times we’ve read novels about crimes in the present that are connected to other crimes in the past? And you know how much I love those.
This time, though, the connection was not the usual one. DS Jason Hingston is tormented by the disappearance of two teenage boys, so he’s asked to take a leave and rest. While visiting his uncle Zack in Devon, Jason meets a mysterious woman who seems to know something about the crime… And then he discovers that he has a key that magically opens a musical box he’s just found in an old store. This musical box used to belong to a family whose twin teenage boys also disappeared many years ago…
I don’t think you need to love fantasy or supernatural strorylines in order to enjoy Hingston’s Box, given that this detail doesn’t make it less of a crime novel. The most important aspect of the book is following Hingston’s investigation and trying to help him decipher the enigmatic musical box. To whom did it belong? What does it mean? Can this past crime help Jason solve the current one? You’ll see…
What I liked the most
This was a short read and Decima Blake’s writing was wonderful. Despite the supernatural part, the crime aspect of the book felt realistic and Jason was clearly a very sympathetic character: kind, smart and loyal. I loved how he never gave up and insisted on following his instincts.
What I didn’t like that much
I’m afraid I couldn’t connect much with this story. I thought it lacked a bit of “passion” and the criminal case wasn’t one that I will remember for a long time. I wished we could’ve seen Jason’s relationship with more of his colleagues. I felt sad that he was so lonely, as he seemed to be a really nice guy and a great detective.
A special mix between mystery and supernatural for those who love present cases that connect back to past crimes.
Dorset Book Detective
Pegasus Publishers, 2016 – From author