When 12-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to murdering his foster father it sent shock waves through the nation.
DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, took Ciaran's confession after days spent earning his trust. He hasn’t forgotten the kindness she showed him – in fact, she hasn't left his thoughts in the seven years he’s been locked away.
Probation officer Paula Cunningham, now tasked with helping Ciaran re-enter society, suspects there was more to this case than the police uncovered. Ciaran’s confession saved his brother Thomas from a far lengthier sentence, and Cunningham can see the unnatural hold Thomas still has over his vulnerable younger brother.
When she brings her fears to DCI Flanagan, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion.
I would like to thank Random House, Vintage Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.
This book is the first in a new police procedural series featuring DCI Serena Flanagan. I have to say that from the outset I liked this brilliant, iron-willed but at the same time sensitive woman.
How far are you prepared to go to protect your brother?
Seven years ago, David Rolston was bludgeoned to death in his home. Ciarin Devine, the younger of his two foster children confessed to his murder and was put away in a young offenders centre. Thomas his brother served a shorter sentence. Having passed countless hours with young Ciarin, Flanagan never accepted or believed his story but with him confessing she could do nothing to help him.
What did really happen in that house? What was the real motive for killing David Rolston? Could a schoolboy be capable of such devastation? What are the brothers hiding? Who was the real killer?
Now, Ciarin is coming out and probation officer Paula Cunningham is helping him to reintegrate in society. But someone is not very happy with his release and is watching him closely.
DCI Flanagan never forgot the young, scared boy and he never forgot her. Soon they will be forced to come face to face once again reliving past horrors and emotions. As soon as Thomas rejoins Ciarin on the outside, a bloody chain of events is set in motion culminating in one of the most dramatic endings I've ever read.
The author's superb prose and descriptions create the right bleak atmosphere and dramatic setting. All characters are strongly-built and the dialogue realistic. Feelings and emotions brilliantly portrayed.
I really enjoyed myself reading this gritty murder mystery and I literally couldn't put it down. I had never read any books by Stuart Neville, but after reading this one I now know that I'll have to keep an eye on his future releases.
About the Author
Stuart Neville’s first novel, The Twelve, was one of the most critically acclaimed crime debuts of recent years, winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best thriller. Collusion, Stolen Souls, Ratlines (shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger) and The Final Silence have garnered widespread praise, confirming his position as one of the most exciting crime authors writing today.