If ever there was a book you will love to hate, it’s John Nicholl’s stomach-churning but breathtakingly intense debut novel and introduction to Dr David Galbraith, leader of a well-organised paedophile ring in South West Wales. He’s a child psychologist who targets, manipulates and abuses young children, while coordinating a ring of like-minded individuals who are professionals or people of influence.
Centring around Galbraith’s fixation with Anthony Mailer, a young boy with behavioural issues, Nicholl weaves his horrific tale from three viewpoints: that of the boy’s family – in particular, mother Molly; the police investigation into the paedophile ring; and from Galbraith’s own perspective, exposing his inner thoughts about the “bitch” mothers and the young fodder he salivates for.
Jake Urry’s salacious narration is ideal to bring out the vile corruption of Galbraith and his cohorts, while also exploring the hard determination of the police and the motherly concern of the boy’s parent. Where Galbraith is pure evil, Urry is pure goodness. It’s difficult to imagine any other voice narrating such a disturbing and chilling psychological horror. He epitomises the nastiness and cold lack of remorse from the villain, yet can bring out the more tender side of family life.
Author Nicholl is a former police officer and child protection social worker who taps into his experiences with determination. He’s believable and detailed, perhaps taking things much further than the average punter may care to venture at times.
White is the Coldest Colour is a difficult story to hear, purely because of the emotive subject matter and the insight it gives into pedophilia. The writing and narration are both exceptional however, and the sound of Urry’s distinct voice will burn into your memory as much as the events of the novel.
The audiobook of White is the Coldest Colour was self-published by John Nicholl in May 2016 with the sequel, When Evil Calls Your Name, already released, telling the back story of Galbraith’s abused wife. Make no mistake – this is compulsive listening unless you’ve been affected by abuse, in which case, give this thriller a miss. The audiobook of White runs for just over 9 hours and is available through audible.