'Compelling, clever. Packed with macabre and fascinating forensic details. A stunning debut' Mo Hayder
After months of hunting a ruthless murderer that the press has dubbed the Thorn Killer, Detective Carver is shot in his own home. His trusted partner, Ruth Lake, is alone with him. Yet instead of calling for help, she wipes the room clean of prints.
But Carver isn't dead. Awakening in hospital, he has no memory of being shot, but is certain that his assailant is the Thorn Killer. Though there's no evidence to support his claim, Carver insists the attack is an attempt to scare him off the psychopath's scent.
One person knows the truth and she's not talking. She's also now leading the Thorn Killer investigation while Carver recuperates. But Ruth is keeping a deadly secret, and she'll cross every line - sacrificing her colleagues, her career, and maybe even her own life - to keep it from surfacing.
'A taut and compelling thriller, as sharp as the thorns that feature in the plot' Ann Cleeves
At the start of the enthralling debut from Dyer (the pen name for two British authorities on crime), Det. Sgt. Ruth Lake holds the gun that just shot her partner, Det. Chief Insp. Greg Carver, who's been pursuing the Thorn Killer. Greg is slumped on the sitting room floor of his Liverpool house and, amazingly, alive. Before calling in the shooting, Ruth wipes all surfaces she touched and stashes in her car the box of evidence on the Thorn Killer, who has been terrorizing the city using poison-drenched thorns to kill his victims. When Greg wakes up in the hospital, he can't remember anything that happened on the day he was shot, but he's sure that his shooting is a warning not to get too close to the killer. While Greg recuperates in the hospital, Ruth, a former crime scene investigator, clandestinely pursues the Thorn Killer. But Ruth is harboring a dark secret that she'll do almost anything to keep hidden. The skillfully constructed plot complements the intriguing characters, including a deliciously creepy killer who lurks in the background. Dyer is definitely a crime writer to watch.