Thursday 12 September 2013

The last winter of Dani Lancing - P. D. Viner

© Bianca  


  • release date -  12 September - 2013
  • 400 Pages
  • genre: moving Psychological-Thriller

4,25 Stars

Something very bad happened to Dani Lancing.

Twenty years later, her father is still trying to get her to talk.

Her best-friend has become a detective, the last hope of all the lost girls.

And her mother is about to become a killer…

A hauntingly original debut that will stay with you long after the last page

P.D. Viner bursts on to the scene with a gritty and powerful crime thriller that explores the dark, dangerous line that separates grief, violence, loss, and revenge.

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found; the case has long-gone cold.

Her parents, Patty and Jim, were utterly devastated, their marriage destroyed. Patty threw away her successful journalism career and developed a violent obsession with the unsolved crime.  She is utterly consumed with every lead and possible suspect no matter how far-fetched.  Jim, however, is now a shell of his former self, broken down and haunted—sometimes literally—by the loss of his daughter.  Tom Bevans, Dani’s childhood sweetheart, has become a detective intent on solving murders of other young women.  He was so scarred by Dani’s death that his colleagues have nicknamed him “The Sad Man.” After twenty years of grief, all of three of them are burnt-out and hopeless.

But when Tom finds an opening on the case, everything changes.  Patty’s obsessions are lit up once again and she will do anything for revenge—even if it means dragging her whole family back into the nightmare, as lies and secrets are unearthed and the truth finally revealed.

Told in fractured time, with a breathless pace and masterful plotting, The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is a superb thriller: swift, edgy, gripping, and unforgettable.

My Opinion

This book was a bit weird - not your every-day Thriller. 
The story was told completely out of order. Some people might like that - it's really very talently done - but for me it was a bit confusing - I had to go back a few times to check the dates ☺ But that's just me and my book-alzheimers ☺

The book is about the Lancing family - mom Patricia - dad Jim - and daughter Dani. Then there's police officer Tom. He was Dani's best friend and he was in love with her his whole life.

Dani was killed 21 years ago. 
And ever since that day Dani's mom has been trying to find the killer.
And because of that obsession - she left her husband and her life behind.
Jim just tries to keep on living. He feels so alone. He misses his wife and the only reason he doesn't miss his daughter all that much is - that he sees her and talks to her all the time!

She is twenty-one years old, beautiful. He is petrified he is going to lose her again. That was his nightmare - that is always his nightmare - being alone.

Dani appears throughout the whole book - she even tells part of the story - only not her murder - because she can't remember.
She stays with her day most of the time because he doesn't want to be alone. She doesn't know why she's still here and why she can't remember anything.

'What is wrong with me Dad?'
'Nothing Dani. There's nothing wrong with you.' He tells his dead daughter.
She looks at the ground, sees his footprints alone in the snow.

Even though it kind of seems a bit like THE LOVELY BONES - it's different.... 

I really enjoyed it - I even cried a few times. It's really moving - the way Jim (dad) tries to live with his grief and with seeing his daughter's ghost and still missing his wife.
Tom is a great character too - he loved Dani so much - but she wasn't interested in him that way.
Dani's mom was completely destroyed by her daughter's death. She only wants revenge - she wants to kill her daughter's killer.

I would say that the book is a moving psycho-thriller.
It took me a bit to get used to the time jumpings ☺
It's not a fast-reading  - a shocker on every page - kind of book.

BUT - it really deserves to be read by people who like those kinds of books!!

At least it doesn't have one of those 'artistically' written open endings - there could even be more books with one of the main characters - at least that's the impression I got at the end ☺

P.D. Viner is an award winning film-maker and creator of the highly successful SmartPass audio guides. He's married to an American Doctor of Linguistics and, along with their five-year-old daughter, he is her test-subject. He has lived abroad for ten years, working and studying in the USA, New Zealand and Russia, and has been a pretty bad stand-up comedian, produced mime shows for Japanese TV and written theatre for the Shakespeare festival, produced in London and Verona.

This is his first murder.