‘The Rule’ by David Jackson | #20BooksofSummer

Author : David Jackson
Title : The Rule
Pages : 336
Publisher : Viper Books
Publication date : July 1, 2021


Daniel is looking forward to his birthday. He wants fish and chips, a chocolate caterpillar cake, and six comics starring his favourite superhero. Daniel will be twenty-three next week. And he has no idea that he’s about to kill a stranger.

Daniel’s parents know that their beloved and vulnerable son will be taken away. They know that Daniel didn’t mean to hurt anyone. They dispose of the body. Isn’t that what any loving parent would do? But as forces on both sides of the law begin to close in on them, they realise they have no option but to finish what they started. Even if it means that others will have to die…

Because they’ll do anything to protect him. Even murder.


Oh, dear. Once again, I find myself firmly in the minority. Is it me? Is it the books? Who knows.

David Jackson’s DS Nathan Cody series is one of my favourite crime series but for some reason his stand-alones seem to fail to hit the mark with me. I wasn’t all that impressed by ‘The Resident‘ and to be honest, I’m even less impressed by ‘The Rule‘.

It started out reasonably well. Daniel is a strong and imposing young man of almost twenty-three who sufferers from learning difficulties and doesn’t know his own strength. A mere friendly hug could leave someone with a pair of broken ribs. So Daniel has been set a rule by his parents : no touching. But when Daniel and his father see something they shouldn’t have, Daniel breaks the rule and somebody dies. To keep Daniel safe, his father makes the dead body disappear. But the dead person’s family and the police are looking for him. How far will Daniel’s parents go to keep him safe?

Daniel is a wonderful character and he will find a way into your heart without even trying all that hard. As the reader, you want to keep him safe as much as his parents do. I found the other characters a bit harder to connect with. Daniel’s mother seemed almost like an afterthought. She’s there but she doesn’t really leave a mark on proceedings. Daniel’s father, Scott, is much more prominent as he digs hole after hole after hole … you get the picture.

Then there’s the detective in charge of the investigation. Hannah carries quite a bit of emotional baggage around with her. It’s why this case was handed to her. If she fails to solve it, and her bosses fully expect her to fail, the force has an excuse to throw her out. This complicates matters where your feelings as a reader are concerned. Part of me wanted her to solve the case but another part didn’t because that would mean Daniel would be in trouble. There was however an element to Hannah’s storyline that didn’t sit well with me and certain events started to annoy me.

A great and promising start soon started to falter for me. I felt there were moments where the story began to drag a little. It lacked the thrill and the tension I felt it needed to keep me hooked. It also ended up a bit more “out there” than I expected. Obviously it’s fiction but I do feel characters still need to act somewhat credible and there is at least one who seems to have a complete character transplant at breakneck speed. However, I kept reading because I had no idea where things would end. And that’s where the strength of this story lies. This incredibly murky area where you somehow rather easily accept that certain things must be done to keep Daniel safe, ignoring things you wouldn’t normally ignore.

A quick read, yes, but all things considered I was pretty disappointed. ‘The Rule‘ is getting some incredibly high ratings and great reviews though so quite clearly I’m just broken or something 😂.

20 Books of Summer : 5/20

  4 comments for “‘The Rule’ by David Jackson | #20BooksofSummer

  1. July 15, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Nothing wrong with swimming against the tide 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 15, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    It’s tough to stay connected to a book when the characters don’t stay true to their design. The premise sounds SO good, too. Sorry this sort of flailed for you, Eva💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      The premise sounded brilliant! I’m just striking out quite a bit in the crime genre lately 😂.

      Liked by 1 person

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