Once a renowned investigative journalist, since the unsolved disappearance of his six-year-old son, Joe Donovan has lived a broken, reclusive life. He's abruptly thrust back into the real world when a teenage boy makes contact, in desperate need of his help. Jamal has in his possession something that holds a key to Donovan's past, a past that can only be unlocked by forcing him to make a terrifying journey into the present.
As long buried secrets begin to emerge and bodies pile up, Donovan finds himself caught up in a harrowing web of fear. In order to survive and uncover the disturbing truth at the heart of the dangerous world he's found himself in, he puts together a team to help him, a team of outsiders that doesn't care which side of the law it operates on. And Donovan will need their help. He and Jamal are being hunted by a serial killer. A killer with a 100% success rate. A killer who doesn't know the meaning of the word mercy...
An enterprising new publishing house launches its list with British author Waite's sixth crime novel (his first to be published in the U.S.), a beautifully written and constructed thriller that courageously avoids using sentimentality to balance despair. When journalist Joe Donovan's six-year-old son disappears in a crowded department store, his marriage falls apart, he loses his high-profile newspaper job, and he retreats to rural Northumberland. Two years later, the top editor of Donovan's former newspaper (a touchingly believable woman) and a shrewd lawyer somewhat short on scruples seek Donovan's aid in discovering why an ace reporter has vanished. The pair promise in return to help Donovan in his obsessive search for his lost son. Raw violence explodes on almost every page (the titular mercy seat is an especially vicious instrument of torture), and there are some artfully awful villains. But what readers are likely to take away from this potent first of a new series is the resilient power of Donovan's feelings, especially for the female editor and a lost street boy named Jamal.