Book Review: White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl

A disturbing crime thriller about a paedophile ring in Wales, driven ironically by a paediatric psychiatrist. Dr Galbraith is a pillar of the community but he’s also a very dangerous man who is a sadist. when he focuses on  little boy referred to him he will stop at nothing to complete his aims.

This is a very dark read and although avoids any gratuitous sensationalism, it’s still a harrowing read. This probably isn’t the most well-written thriller by a long shot but it is compelling but for me lacked characterisation, apart from for the main antagonist Galbraith and in an attempt to portray a realism in the way individual officers deal with investigation and officious surgeons deal with patients, it made me expect a chain of incompetence, which I am hoping is not the case in the majority high profile sensitive investigations. That and my bug bear about writers confusing cardiac arrest with heart attacks, I had to deduct a star.

An overall good read if you have the stomach to read about paedophile rings. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Links to Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

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26 thoughts on “Book Review: White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl

  1. Thanks for telling us about this book. Not sure if I can deal with reading about pedophile rings, might be a bit much for me. And thanks for telling us about the heart attack thing. It’s nice having a former doctor blogger among us to clear up medical terms, etc. ( :

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    • I approached this one with trepidation but if anything I felt it was quite clinical, but then I have been feeling emotional over Cecil the lion. This isn’t the only or first book that has confused cardiac arrest that leads to resuscitation with heart attack which is technically myocardial infarction and cardiac failure which is yet another different diagnosis but I am getting a bit irritated with this lack of interest/attention to detail. If you can’t be bothered to find out I think you should avoid adding a cardiac event/diagnosis to your book.

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    • The first chapter is dark and potentially distressing, but I think it’s important to explain that there are no graphic descriptions of sexual crimes anywhere in the book. Not a single one. The book is a condemnation of sexual predators like Galbraith. It is intended as both an entertaining psychological thriller, and as a cautionary message to readers. Be careful who you trust. The book is informed by my career as a police officer, child protection social worker, and manager. The book is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

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  2. The book makes no reference to a cardiac arrest anywhere in the text. The term used on two occasions is cardiac event. Online medical sites tell me that this term can refer to a heart attack. I’m no expert, of course, but I did do the research.

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    • That’s the problem John, when your character Molly is resuscitated in theatre, she is described by her surgeon as having a heart attack, a heart attack is myocardial infarction and not treated with cpr. I’m sorry you don’t agree but having been to medical school and attended various arrests, heart attacks and failures, I can assure you they are not the same thing and your character Molly had a cardiorespiratory arrest in theatre not a heart attack.

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  3. In my view, anyone who promotes or defends pedophilia should be investigated and prosecuted whenever the law allows. There’s no room for debate. Such behaviour is despicable and indefensible. Men like the heinous criminals featured in the book inflict often insurmountable harm on their unfortunate victims. They should be pursued to the full extent pf the law, prosecuted and imprisoned.

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    • I couldn’t agree more with you John, in fact I have always taken a very hard line with child health surveillance in my career and I’m not sure who you think is disagreeing with you?

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  4. I’ll bow to your superior knowledge when it comes to medical diagnosis. I’m certainly no expert! I did read, however, that a heart attack can cause a cardiac arrest, sometimes at the same time and sometimes years later. Isn’t that the case? If that occurred while Molly was on the operating table, wouldn’t the treatment administered be appropriate? I’d also point out that the first character to mention a heart attack is Mike Mailer, who simply uses the common catch all term used by the majority of lay people to describe both heart attacks and cardiac arrests. The surgeon is arrogant, superior, and dismissive. I think it unlikely he would have explained the situation in any great detail. He was anxious to escape any discussion with the family as fast as possible.

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    • The surgeon was quite a piece of work, but some are so I can’t fault you on the attitude or God complex as it is more rife than most of us would like to think, I can only hope that the most arrogant of surgeons would at the very least send a member of their team to speak to relatives regarding an arrest in theatre, but I hope if that didn’t happen in the worst scenario the anaesthetist who would have led the arrest protocol in theatre would have spoken to the family, but I know things don’t always go to plan on the NHS. You aren’t the first or only writer I have read this week/month who has not specified an arrest led to resuscitation, and also it is possible to have an arrest alongside a myocardial infarction/heart attack, the majority do not lead to resuscitation. Unfortunately as well as having a medical degree I have a rare heart and lung condition too and can only hope if something ever happened to me my husband would be better dealt with.

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    • And no Molly has resuscitation which is treatment for arrest, if she had a heart attack she would need ECG, blood tests to diagnosis to check CK and troponin levels, thrombolysis and a subsequent angiogram/angioplasty. Arrest deals with a stopped heart or arrhythmia, where as heart attack deals with blockages in the arteries which supply the heart muscle, and yes there maybe overlap but the treatment for arrest and attack are different and very specific. Another common error is to call cardiac arrest cardiac failure which is again not the same thing and results when either side of the heart does not work effectively leading to fluid in the lungs or legs if it’s left heart failure. It gets way to technical but if you require resuscitation it’s an arrest, the cause of which is determined after the patient has been stabilised and heart attack maybe a cause.

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  5. Thanks for the information, it’s appreciated. I do realise that cardiac arrests and heart attacks are different. Sadly, I have personal reasons for this. My father died as the result of a cardiac arrest some years ago. Mike Mailer uses a catch all term, and the surgeon chooses not to contradict him. I had a very similar experience with a very similar doctor. Not all doctors are so ready to explain the complexities of diagnosis and treatment.

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    • Totally understand, I just hope I was never amongst the white coats who are blase. I spend more time being a patient than doctor these days. Thank you for asking me to review your book, I look forward to reading the next one, about Cynthia’s story.

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  6. Temple University are deplorable, I class them alongside the Holocaust deniers. I think there was a documentary on paedophiles on ITV a decade a go and some spouted the same vile rubbish about it. The utter devastation to lives these criminals cause and the sheer number of children affected is just heartbreaking. I have yet to read In Plain Sight by Dan Davies about Jimmy Saville but I need to recuperate and reinforce my emotional strength before I open that book.

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  7. Thank you for the four star review on Amazon, it’s appreciated. The ebook will be reduced to 99 pence on Amazon.co.uk and 99 cents on Amazon.com for one week from 1, August. Thank you again for reading and reviewing the book. I’m pleased it’s being discussed. That has to be a good thing. The better people understand how these predators operate, the better protected children will be. Very best wishes, John

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