Once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, London's East End is a vibrant mix of history and new ideas, but the trendy galleries of Brick Lane disguise a seedy underside where unthinkable crimes bring terror to the innocent.
Artist and young mother Sandra Gilles disappears without trace after leaving her three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Her lawyer husband, Naz Malik, is devastated - but he's also the prime suspect in a murder investigation. When Naz vanishes shortly afterwards, Gemma James and her partner Superintendent Duncan Kincaid agree to work together again to solve the case before the murderer can get his hands on the real prize, Charlotte.
But just as the case grows more dangerous, a personal issue threatens to throw Gemma and Duncan off the trail. In the end, it is up to them to stop a vicious killer and protect the child whose fate hangs in the balance.
Romance dominates Crombie's 13th contemporary procedural featuring Scotland Yarders Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid, who are on the verge of getting married (after 2008's Where Memories Lie). The how, where and when of their wedding proves a considerable source of stress to both, overshadowing the murder investigation of Naz Malik, a solicitor suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Sandra Gilles, an artist specializing in textile collage. Malik was found suffocated in Bethnal Green, with traces of an animal tranquilizer in his system. Meanwhile, James's mother is seriously ill, placing James in the impossible position of trying to fulfill both her familial and work responsibilities. In addition, James must fight to keep Malik's now parentless young daughter from falling into the custody of Sandra's unsavory relatives. Hopefully, Crombie will provide a better balance of police work and her characters' personal lives next time.