Top positive review
McDermid taps into our worst nightmares to deliver a real nail-biter
Reviewed in Australia on 26 January 2019
Here is the set-up: Carol Jordan has only one chance to prove to herself and her superiors she still has what it takes after a traumatic experience has almost put an end to her career. However, it seems she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
Neither of the two cases she has been given to solve are going to be easy. Two young boys have seemingly disappeared into thin air, presumably whisked away by a paedophile who is still at large and very dangerous. And a prostitute has been tortured and murdered by a sexual sadist with a very special MO – but the perp who fits the MO is already in custody and couldn’t possibly have done it.
The problem for Carol – and for McDermid – is which case should take priority. And if there is a weakness in this otherwise superbly plotted novel, that is it.
Psychological profiler, Tony Hill seems to be at a loss with both cases, though he starts to suspect that at least in one of the cases there may be a puppet master pulling their strings behind the scenes- and when one of their own fall victim, he is sure of it.
There is a definite imbalance between the emphasis given to the two cases which is not altogether resolved in the novel. Nonetheless this psychological thriller certainly delivers on thrills and a complex conclusion where success and failure are not so easily delineated.