The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.
Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.
Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.
And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die . . .
Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
And so the honour of the final book read in 2013 goes to this little gem.
I am a huge addict of procedural TV crime dramas, especially Criminal Minds and I have always found that the most interesting cases are not the ones where someone’s asleep in their bed and randomly gets shot / stabbed / their head bashed in but where there’s a psychological element to it, say 1 gun, 1 bullet, 2 people, no food or water and enclosed in a room with no escape.
This book was like an episode of Criminal Minds I wanted to happen and double points for it being set in the UK (and mentioning French Fancies!).
However, there was definitely a grittiness in it that you wouldn’t find in Hollywood and the characters were real and flawed, a far cry from the sexy cast of American crime dramas.
So besides the set-up and the characters what else can I tell you about this without giving the twists and turns away?
Having each chapter basically told from the POV of different characters (in 3rd person) was a bold move but it worked really well and helped keep the plot moving and the tension high. The reveal of the ‘baddie’ was interesting and believable. I like how you weren’t sure whose POV the chapters in Italics were told from (you guess the perp but could easily have been Helen Grace’s given what you know about her other activities). Overall this is a really gripping novel which stays in your mind long after you have finished it (don’t do what I did and finish it off just before bed) and highly recommended.
A fair warning to you all: the book is quite graphic in some areas and for those of you who like a happy ever after to end their mystery/thrillers then this book might not be the one for you.
I read the uncorrected proof and there were lots of mistakes which did diminish the reading experience for me but will no doubt be corrected for the edition which goes to print:
pg22 – ‘Wheb’ = When
pg55 – ‘sole custody of Amy’ = sole custody of Elsie
pg149 – ‘Too much for Anna’ = too much for Marie
pg228 – Sandy calls Hannah ‘Helen’