The Rule – David Jackson

The hiss of the bus doors made Daniel Timpson look up from his comic. He peered through the grimy window to check where he was. The journey home took in a total of ten bus stops. This was number eight. He had to be careful about his count, because sometimes drivers skipped a stop if nobody wanted to get on or off.
‘I thought you’d gone to sleep.’
Daniel turned to the woman sitting next to him. He thought she looked very old. Maybe more than a hundred. She’d probably die soon,. He hoped she didn’t die on the bus.


Daniel is looking forward to his birthday. He wants pie and chips, a big chocolate cake, and a comic book starring his favourite superhero. And as long as he follows The Rule, nothing bad will happen.

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, he just doesn’t know his own strength. 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 Daniel. Even murder.

Book Information: Print length: 336 pages – Publisher Viper – Publication Date: 1st July 2021

My Review:

It’s no secret I am a HUGE fan of Mr Jackson and his books, having read his entire back catalogue, so I was extremely excited to see a new standalone which was published on 1st July by Viper.

To those who have read any of David’s previous books, you will know that he loves to bend the rules himself with his original storylines, cleverly constructed characters and more twists and turns than a helter-skelter and The Rule is no exception.

Daniel is a 22 year old man with the mental age of a young child and the body and strength of an olympic weight-lifter. He lives in a run down tower block on a dodgy estate with his adoring parents and goes to a special day school for vulnerable adults. He is obsessed with Adam-9, a comic superhero and is looking forward to celebrating his birthday next week with chippy chips from the local takeaway.

His parents have brought him up to live by The Rule – which means absolutely NO physical contact with others due to his immense strength and inability to not realise when he is hurting someone. However, when his father’s life is put in danger, Daniel ignores The Rule and whilst trying to protect his father he accidentally kills someone.

Faced with their vulnerable son being put in prison for life, his parents make the difficult decision to “get rid” of the body which results in a catalogue of disasters for the family.

Once again, David Jackson has written an entertaining, often amusing but exceptionally dark thriller which questions just how far you would go to protect your family?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About David Jackson:

David was a latecomer to fiction writing, having spent most of his adult life producing academic papers and reports. After some limited success entering short story competitions, he submitted the first few chapters of a novel to the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Awards. To his great surprise, the book was not only short-listed but given the Highly Commended accolade, which stimulated the interest of agents and publishers and eventually led to the publication of PARIAH. Since then, he has written several more crime thrillers, including two series set in New York and his birth city of Liverpool. David still has a day job in Liverpool as a university academic, but now lives on the Wirral with his wife, two daughters and a British Shorthair cat called Mr Tumnus.

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