The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.
The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’
When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?
The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.
As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?
Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.
As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I wanted to read it. The blurb just increased my intrigue and curiosity. Now that I've finished it, I can say that this is a great book and the brilliant start of a fantastic new crime series.
Set in the fictional town of Ragmullin, in Ireland, this book kicks off with a very unnerving prologue, set in the past. Three kids are watching down from a window as two men bury a child's body underneath a tree in the garden. Who are these children? What is this place? What happened to the dead child? Why are they burying the small body in the garden?
This is immediately followed by the first chapter set in the present day. A woman goes out to meet someone in the town's cathedral. There she is murdered in cold blood by this unknown person. Who killed her? And why would anyone want this woman dead?
At this point we meet DI Lottie Parker and her team, as they are given the task of investigating and solving this murder. But without even a chance to start, a man's body is found dangling from a tree. A connection between both victims is quickly made, but this won't be enough to solve the case. Who's killed these people and why? Were they killed by the same killer? When the number of victims increases further, Lottie realises that the case is far more complex and multi-layered than she first thought. Lottie will need to dig in the past to find the answers she's looking for. But why does she have a personal interest in the case? And whose unsolved case file does she keep in her desk drawer?
This book is very well written and makes for some great reading. I really enjoyed it and I couldn't believe that it's the author's debut thriller. The plot did feel a bit complex at times, with many characters involved, but on the whole I found it very engrossing, twisted and knotted with many possible suspects. The author skilfully brings past and present together, slowly painting one complete multi-coloured picture.
The author's vivid descriptions set the scene and bring all characters to life in high definition. I instantly loved Lottie with her ballsy no-nonsense attitude and sarcastic comments and retorts. She's a very strong character, an intelligent police officer and a force to be reckoned with. She's a human tornado, never idle and always going about determined to find answers, sweeping anything and anyone getting in her way. But Lottie has a soft, fragile side too and the more I read, the more I grew fond of her. She's a widow still grieving for her husband but craving love and affection. She's also a mother struggling to cope with her three teenagers. I loved her interesting close relationship with her colleague Mark Boyde, another likeable character that adds spice and laughs to Lottie's otherwise miserable life.
Balancing these likeable characters are a bunch of unsavoury, powerful, scheming individuals. Who are they? What are they plotting? And why do they meet in secret, away from prying eyes?
With great characterisation, a very intriguing, strongly woven storyline full of twists, turns, red herrings, scandals, secrets and depravity, this book kept me on my toes throughout. I wanted to know who has killed those people and why, but the author satisfied my curiosity only at the very end.
If you, like me, love books by Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, you'll definitely enjoy this one. Ms Gibney is a new author to watch. Now I already can't wait to meet Lottie again in book two.
With thanks to Bookouture for approving my request to read and review this book through NetGalley.