"Disturbing and wickedly entertaining.” —People Magazine
Detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver, introduced in the electrifying Splinter in the Blood, must stop a serial killer whose victims are the centerpiece of his macabre works of art.
While Britain is obsessed with the newest hit true-crime television show, Fact, or Fable? detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are tormented by a fiendish flesh-and-blood killer on the loose.
Lured to a “crime scene” by a mysterious digital invitation, Ruth Lake is horrified by what she finds: a bizarre and gruesome tableau surrounded by a crowd of gawkers. The deadly work is the latest “art installation” designed by a diabolical criminal dubbed the Ferryman. Not only is this criminal cold-blooded; he’s a narcissistic exhibitionist desperate for an audience. He’s also clever at promoting his deadly handiwork. Exploiting England’s current true-crime craze, he uses social media to titillate and terrorize the public.
Ruth is joined in the investigation by her partner Greg Carver, who is slowly regaining his strength after a run-in with another sadistic criminal. But Greg can’t seem to shake the bewildering effects of the head wound that nearly ended him. Are the strange auras blurring his vision an annoying side effect of his injury, or could they be something more . . . a tool to help him see a person’s true nature?
In this utterly engrossing and thrilling tale of suspense, a pair of seasoned detectives face off against a wickedly smart and inventive psychopath in a tense, bloody game that leads to a shocking end.
This addictive sequel to 2018's Splinter in the Blood from British author Dyer (the pen name of Margaret Murphy and Helen Pepper) puts Liverpool Det. Chief Insp. Greg Carver and Det. Sgt. Ruth Lake on the trail of the Ferryman, a serial killer believed responsible for the disappearances of as many as 12 men over half a year. Soon after Mick Tennent, the host of a TV show called Fact or Fable?, airs a program on the missing men, he himself vanishes, and police receive an email stating that the "Ferryman is no fable." The case takes a macabre turn when a message from the killer directs the police to what appears to be an art installation attached to scaffolding in front of a commercial building; the installation includes sections of three human brains, each within a disk of Plexiglas. This gruesome display gains the Ferryman a legion of followers on social media, some of whom work to stymie the official inquiry. Chapters narrated by the Ferryman heighten the suspense. Though the plot, complete with Carver and Lake keeping secrets from each other, is nothing new, the material is fresh enough to keep readers turning the pages. Fans of British police procedurals will be well satisfied.