Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.
It's a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn't spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn't believe them.
Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case - with its seemingly random victims - has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense.
I’ve said it before and I think it bears repeating I just love English crime drama especially of the psychological variety. Luckily this one is set in fairly close proximity to where I used to live in the UK (West Sussex). But why, oh why, do the protagonists/heroes of such novels have to be troubled with deep dark secrets? Not everyone is that way but then I suppose they would not be an interesting back story to reveal over a series of books!
It was not until I had started reading other reviews of this book that the ‘saw’esque nature of this book became clear – and I stupid or what?! I for one have no problem with dark book sick stuff, the darker and the sicker the more I love it! I think I should have been a doctor (I am also addicted to medical dramas on the TV along with zombies and vampires – so a medical/vampire or medical/zombie drama would be right up my street!).
For a change this is a British police procedural novel with a dynamic team. However, the author neglects to introduce us to them in any great deal (which is a great shame). I would have loved to now more of Charlie’s back story. It is nice to see a team backing their boss even if that person is not the most loved character ever.
However, the police are not the only people with grim pasts and tortured personas; the victims are fairly unlikeable too! Perhaps this is why I am drawn to this series of novels.
As is needed in such novels and in deed in the working life of most women in the UK Helen Grace was a strong steely woman who has battled many demons and preconceptions to get where she is today.
I personally thought that this book was fairly slow to get to the boil but once there, there were many twists and turns that kept the story meandering along until the end. I would say that there were a few too many points of view that could and probably will confuse some less attentive readers. Shamefully, on occasion the author does tend to repeat himself (let us hope that this is because it is his (the author’s) first novel and not for the lack of something to say). Likewise, sometimes the story jumps all over the place and it is not always clear where the story wants to go and again it is this reader’s hope that this is just ironing out the authors narrative technique.
The short chapters caught this reader’s attention and kept her reading until the very end. Although the story did stall slightly in the middle and the end felt rushed. The grisly murders and the characters kept this reader reading, not least to find out whom the murder was, which was a great reveal.
Unfortunately, there are some inconsistencies which could have been eradicated with a better editor. Let’s hope that little things like this are not repeated in the future. Another thing that annoyed the hell out of this reader was that even though this was a British writer writing a story set in England he used American spellings. Surely he should have been allowed to stay true to his roots and use ‘proper’ English instead of the cheap American imitation.
All that said this novel will get you hooked in this series (which is definitely the point) and will leave the reader wanting to know more about DI Helen Grace and her team.
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.
I rated this 'I liked it' on Amazon (4 stars) and 'I really liked it' Goodreads (4 stars).