Are some people born evil? A few of these kids may make you wonder about that question. Starling House is full of the worst type of offenders. Children who choose to torture, harm and even kill.
Unfortunately they all tend to end up in the same place, especially if they are still minors. It’s certainly debatable whether certain individuals should be allowed to associate with each other, and in doing so are perhaps more likely to encourage more criminal behaviour.
What makes this such a dark read is the fact these killers do exist. Children who commit the most heinous of crimes. The character profiles sail fairly closely to reality and real crimes. Killers with the faces of cherubs, but the minds of deviants.
DCI Matilda Darke is distracted by one of these young boys, to the point of endangering members of her team. She is almost obsessed by the thought one of the delinquents could actually be innocent.
The cynic in me wanted to shake her a little and remind her how manipulative some of these young boys can be. Has she been blinded by the cute face and the young age or perhaps been misguided by her own gut instinct? Killers can be highly intelligent and persuasive.
Wood has created a solid enjoyable main character in Matilda Darke. Much like the plot, she is unpredictable, but driven by her strong sense of justice and her instincts. It is sometimes an uncomfortable read, and yet also a compelling one.