DI Tom Thorne has seen plenty of dead bodies in his time. But when he starts receiving sick photos of murder victims on his mobile phone, he soon realises that the next body could be his.
And even when the man who has been sending the photos is tracked down, the deadly threat remains, For some, the case is all but closed, but Thorne's nightmare is just beginning.
Because someone else is masterminding the death messages. The most vicious psychopath Thiorne has ever faced is able to manipulate others even behind bars, and time has only deepened the deadly grudge he has against the policeman who put him away...
When Det. Insp. Thorne receives an anonymous text message with a blurry photograph of a dead man, Thorne wonders if someone is playing a macabre trick in Billingham's outstanding seventh novel to feature the London policeman (after 2007's Buried). But when another, similar photo arrives, Thorne knows it's something much worse. Both victims are identified as members of the Black Dogs, a notorious biker gang, and fingerprints point to Marcus Brooks, recently paroled after serving time for allegedly killing the Black Dogs' leader. Brooks claims he was framed for the gang leader's murder; a few weeks before his release, Brooks's girlfriend and son are killed in a suspicious hit-and-run. Now Thorne fears that Brooks is out for revenge, targeting both the gang that landed him in prison and the bent coppers who may be behind it all. Billingham continues to enrich Thorne's world by introducing new villains and by highlighting connections to old cases and older wounds.