The Darkest Walk

Written by Malcolm Archibald
Review by Sarah Newman

It is 1848 and Scotland Yard have been tracking the progress of the working-class Chartist movement. Worrying new evidence hints at a radical element, who believe violence to be their only option to secure success. The recently promoted Detective Mendick is given the unenviable task of going undercover behind enemy lines in Manchester, the heart of industrial England. Sceptical at first, Mendick quickly becomes impassioned about bettering the lives of his less fortunate countrymen, especially when it involves the mysterious and beautiful Rachel Scott. On discovering there is more at stake than just workers’ rights, the detective battles with an unknown double agent as he tries to prevent a catastrophe that would change the political landscape of Britain forever.

The Darkest Walk is an accomplished piece of work by Malcolm Archibald. He gives what could be a dark and miserable subject passion and suspense. I felt involved through his account of Detective Mendick’s journey—he was a suitable hero that I found believable, as he acted as I would, and stumbled where I did. This is a bit more intelligent than many books I’ve read in this genre—I enjoyed the fact I couldn’t predict the outcome. Highly recommended.