John Nicholl

White is the Coldest Colour

""...I confess to holding my breath as the conclusion drew near." "


The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to a child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents' marriage.

Fifty-eight-year-old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile 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.

When Anthony comes into the doctor's life he becomes Galbraith's latest obsession and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies become reality.

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First-time author, John Nicholl, is a former child protection officer with social services and draws on his experiences in dealing with vulnerable children at times of crisis to create this raw and starkly written novel. Set in 1992 at a time when people in a position of power were deemed untouchable by the law and their word sacrosanct, the story revolves around a child psychologist with a sick and disturbing taste in the young boys he readily has access to. The opening chapters are dark and shocking in their realism as we get to know the evil doctor and his attitudes towards the people in his life. He truly is a vile creation. Nicholl obviously knows his stuff, and I get the feeling he has met people like Dr Galbraith in his work, which makes this story all the more terrifying. It is no shock to say that, in places, 'White Is The Coldest Colour', is disturbing, but it's also incredibly well-written and the pace is strong and fast to keep you intrigued. The chapter with the child abduction crackles with tension and danger, and the twist is both fitting, yet shocking. A subject like this is not one to tackle lightly and it takes someone with Nicholl's background to do it justice. This really is an essential read for anyone who enjoys a gripping story told well and with real heart. The final chapters are frantic in their urgency and I confess to holding my breath as the conclusion drew near.

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