A pleasant surprise!
I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free ARC of this book, I didn't know what to expect as I've never read any book written by Jo Spain and The Darkest Place proved to be a pleasant surprise, combining classical police procedural storyline with a few thriller/horror elements. The setting is a small island in Ireland where a mental hospital used to exist and the plot begins when a mass grave is found near the premises of the hospital. An acclaimed doctor's body, missing for over 40 years is excavated and when foul play is suspected, Inspector Tom Reynolds along with his criminal investigation team is sent to the island to solve a cold, nearly frozen, case. Unfortunately, I was not familiar with the history of the characters and I believe that it would be better if I've read the previous novels in the series, but this fact didn't spoil the reading experience. The Darkest Place is an atmospheric thriller that reminded me of a bit of Johan Theorin's novel The Asylum and is an excellent book for late-night reading, sending chills down your spine through its great descriptions of the ominous mental institution which carries a disturbing history of patient treatment. The characters, both the protagonists and the secondary ones, are well-outlined, while the plot is moving forward at a steady pace reaching the climax in the last part of the novel. Jo Spain is a writer that I will have to check out in the future. Highly recommended!