When the decomposed body of a young woman is found near some railway tracks just outside Bristol one hot May morning, all indications are that she committed suicide. That’s how the police want it too -- all neatly squared away. But DI Jack Caffery is not so sure. He is on the trail of someone predatory, someone who hides in the shadows and can slip into houses unseen. And for the first time in a very long time, he feels scared.
Police diver Flea Marley is working alongside Caffery. With the traumas of her past safely behind her, she’s beginning to wonder whether her relationship with Caffery could go beyond the professional. And then she makes a discovery that changes everything. Not only is it far too close to home for comfort, but it’s so horrifying that she knows nothing will ever be the same again. And this time, no one -- not even Caffery -- can help her. . . .
Det. Insp. Jack Caffery of Bristol's Major Crime Investigation Unit looks into the case of Misty Kitson, a footballer's wife who vanished from rehab, in Hayder's chilling thriller, which picks up a few days after the grisly climax of 2008's Ritual. Caffery is distracted by the apparent suicide of a young man who he's convinced shows signs of mutilation similar to the victims of muti, the African black magic that figured in the previous book. Meanwhile, Sgt. Phoebe "Flea" Marley, a police diver, is busy exploring a series of flooded quarries in search of a missing woman, but her mind is elsewhere, too: the discovery that her brother, Thom, plays a vital role in Misty's much publicized disappearance. After two more alleged suicides, Caffery isn't sure if he's imagining a connection to muti, or if the answer is closer to home but no less deadly. Hayder captures the claustrophobia of Flea's dives in unsettling detail and continues to build on her two damaged heroes.