The chilling, dark, psychological suspense thriller from ex-police officer and child protection social worker, John Nicholl.
Revised edition 12, June 2015.
BLURB: Be careful who you trust…
The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when 7 year old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
58 year old Dr. David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory pedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies into reality.
About the novel: The novel is entirely fictional but draws on John Nicholl’s experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer.
During his career the author dealt with many cases that left him incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims.
The story is set in 1992, when the world was still adjusting to the idea of seeing their little ones in a danger of this kind. Pedophile was a newly learnt term for some. We think our children will be their safest in the boundaries of their home and in the arms of their loved ones but in reality its a whole different picture. Most of the victims are abused by the hands of the ones closest to them. ( And yes, that includes their parents too) In the book, this idea will be reflected.
The book contains material some may find upsetting from the start.
It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.
About the author: John Nicholl wrote a multi-agency child protection good practice manual and articles for newspapers and a national social work magazine during his career, but White is the coldest colour is his debut novel.
He has worked as a police officer, and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments, and the NSPCC. He has also lectured on child protection matters at several colleges and universities.
He lives in rural West Wales, has been happily married for many years, and has three adult children and one grandchild.
The novel entered the Amazon.co.uk top 100 bestseller chart in just 15 days and reached # 1 in British Detectives.
Main Characters: Anthony, a 7 year old boy who is torn between his mother and father’s divorce, still accepting the idea of not seeing his father at home is advised by his general practitioner to see a child psychiatrist.
Dr. David Galbraith, a renowned, respected and influential personality who has powerful contacts in the administration and society, is handed Anthony’s case. But Dr. Galbraith has a disturbing secret. He is also the head of the local pedophile ring. He has made many adolescent boys as his victims in the past. And now, is again on a hunt. Anthony fits his next potential victim requirements and he will not back down till he gets what he wants. He is a raging madman with an ego taller than the Everest.
He also has two daughters and a wife, Cynthia. He treats her like his subject of study of how to break a totally confident lawyer wife into a miserable, fearful, diffident, troubled mess. The tension and fear is palpable when they are in a scene together.
Molly Mailer, who is burdened under the worries of her family. And how to get her son, Anthony, back on track.
Review: Its a blood curdling, terrifying, heavy story with stunning character reveals, the dirty work in the society, eerie settings challenging our notions, trust and prejudices.
John takes his readers into the vile mind of a manipulative and heinous pedophile. Trust me, it feels like you are in a filthy mess, being attacked by a mentally sick mob, drowning in a bottomless pit of stink and fleas, you are flailing your limbs and trying hard to come out of it, begging for a big gulp of fresh air. You will wash yourself for a thousand times but that filth is just not going away.
But it is also important to go there at least once to know their thought process, how they work, what they think, how they plan, what they are capable of, how deceptive they can be and how controlling they are. It is a filth that needs to be stuck on your mind forever so whenever you sniff even a possibility of danger, your mind will give an instant response and recognize it.
In the society we are living today, these kinds of books with such a powerful, intense and insightful message should be read by all.
He also reflected on how such dealings and revelations affect the people who are working to solve such cases. The ones who are listening and recording the statements of the victims first hand (some of them are toddlers, for God’s sake), what impact does their disclosures have on their mind. No doubt some of them would need a drink (or drinks) to sleep with such horrendous revelations running in their minds.
We also get a bit familiarized to their working and course of action. How they get the little, innocent and scared victims to speak up. How they have to measure and weigh their words before speaking. (as many words can act as a trigger or may cause them to lose confidence) How they make sure to provide them a feeling of safety and an assurance to accept that it was not their fault.
Considering John Nicoll’s background, the plot seems very convincing, realistic and has depth to it. It seems like after years of dealing with such scenarios this book was kind of a let out for him. May be to understand these things better or to acquaint the readers with such realities of life. I am sure he saw more horrific cases then this one. I can only wonder (more like I don’t even want to wonder) how it would have been for him or people with similar jobs at the field.
It was a nail biting, gripping and moving plot. This book made me feel so many things. I was crying with Anthony when he missed his father, I was excited with Anthony when he thought that the psychiatrist will fix his family, I was scared with him when he faced the first lash of Dr. Galbraith’s vicious plan. I was suffering with him in his captivity.
I felt the pain of Molly when she saw her family splitting away, the infidelity of her husband, the worry of her son’s behavior and beloved daughter’s whereabouts.
I empathized with Cynthia and his other victims. Feared for their safety and prayed for their well being.
My thoughts resonated with the ones who wanted to give those pedophiles the worst punishment possible.
I learnt how a criminal justifies his despicable actions. How they are also constantly working on their plan and means to get what they desire. To what extent they can stoop. The air of control and fear they create to keep others at bay and under their influence.
When I first started reading it, I was taking time, fearing what will I find in the upcoming chapters. But instead of a subject like this, the story is told very gracefully without being graphic or voyeuristic.
How the story proceeds: The story starts with a glimpse of Dr. Galbraith’s handiwork and evil secret life. Continues to show how his mind is wired with all the strings which he knows well how to pull and how much to let them lose. It’s shown how he makes his two lives completely under control and hidden from the lot.
It continues to how the first victims speaks up, which leads to many new evidences and how all those disclosures gets tied to a single person.
The doctor starts anticipating and fantasizing about his new victim, Anthony, making plans for the next course of action. How to get things done with no interference from his mother.
Side by side, the police is leaving no stone unturned to catch the ring.
The story leads to a scene where the Doctor finally starts losing his grip, gets desperate to fulfill his fantasies. That is when the story comes to a climax where the least expected one drags him to the fate which he very much deserved, leaving you with full of hope.
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An exclusive interview with John Nicholl, the author himself. Click here. 😀