The Dark Room by Minette Walters



The dark room The Dark RoomMinette Walters; Jove Books 1997WorldCat

Jane Kingsley, nicknamed Jinx, is thrown from her car as it hurtles towards a cement wall in a deserted air field. Why was she trying to commit suicide? Why did she jump out before it hit the wall? Her fiance had broken up with her and was leaving for France with her best friend. The report is they told her two days before the crash. They’ve disappeared and no one is sure where they are going in France.

Unfortunately, Jinx can’t remember the two weeks of her life leading up to the crash. She has a short term memory loss. Her millionaire father admits her to a private clinic to heal and regain her memory, if possible. Dr. Alan Protheroe, the head of the clinic, is intrigued by Jinx. She doesn’t seem the type to commit suicide. She agrees. She knows herself and doesn’t believe she is the suicide type. But the car in the airfield says otherwise.

Jinx’s history is unstable as well. Her father adores her and barely tolerates her two half-brothers. Her husband was murdered ten years earlier. She miscarried shortly after his death. But she returned from the pains and has established herself as a top fashion photographer. Her best friend, Meg, introduced her to Leo a few months earlier. They got engaged and were planning a big wedding in another month. Then Leo decided he wanted Meg instead. Jinx feels relieved not to be engaged to him anymore. So why would she commit suicide? Will anyone locate the couple to question them about Jinx’s reaction?

Minette Walters writes good detective fiction. The Dark Room is proof of that. Hints to the solution are provided throughout, but not enought to figure out the solution. All the clues point to Jinx having murdered her husband after an affair with Meg and now overreacting to her fiance and friend. But Jinx herself doesn’t seem the type. Alan Protheroe is also a strong character as he talks to Jinx. Some actions in the book can be anticipated. But the final solution is exceptional.

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