In Britain circa 1984, the news is dominated by the national miners’ strike. The region of Fife in Scotland is hard hit by the strike, devastated economically and shaken by clashes between miners and police. Against this violent and bitter backdrop, heiress Catriona Maclennan Grant and her baby son are kidnapped. The ransom should have gone smoothly, but instead the payoff goes horribly wrong, and Catriona and her son disappear without a trace.
Twenty-four years later, dramatic new evidence discovered by a jogger in Tuscany prompts police to reopen the cold case. Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie leads the investigation. It won’t be the only cold case to end up on her desk. A young woman soon walks into the station to report a missing person, Mick Prentice, who abandoned his family in Fife in 1984 to join the strike-breakers down south. Labelled a blackleg scab, he might as well be dead as far as his friends and relatives are concerned.
Past and present intertwine as McDermid, author of the bestselling Tony Hill and Carol Jordan mysteries, weaves a dark novel of psychological suspense.
When Michelle Gibson reports her father, Mick Prentice, missing at the start of McDermid's intricate but underwhelming stand-alone psychological thriller, Det. Insp. Karen Pirie, head of the Fife police Cold Case Review Team, isn't interested until Michelle reveals that Mick disappeared during the 1984 miners' strike. At the time, everyone believed Mick went "scabbing" in Nottingham. Later, Karen is summoned to the home of wealthy Sir Broderick Maclennan Grant, whose daughter, Catriona, and baby grandson, Adam, were abducted in 1985. A botched ransom hand-off left Catriona dead and Adam nowhere to be found. New evidence linked to the kidnapping has surfaced, and now Karen has two missing people to locate. McDermid tries to pack too much story into one book, and the connection she draws between the cases feels forced. Fans of the Scottish author may be better off waiting for the next outing of McDermid's series to feature psychologist Tony Hill (The Mermaid Singing, etc.). Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Totally stupid ending.