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Investigator Jessica Niemi is in a race against time to find the link between a body with strange markings that has washed up on a frigid shore in Finland and two baffling disappearances in this terrifying new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch Hunter.
Six months have passed since Jessica’s encounter with the mysterious serial-killing coven of witches and the death of her mentor. Her nightmares about her mother and the witchcraft that undid her have only gotten worse, but she’s doing what she can to stay focused. Her homicide squad, now under new leadership, has been given a murder case and a new series of disappearances to investigate. A young woman’s corpse has washed up on an icy beach, and two famous Instagram influencers have gone missing at the same time.
The missing influencers and the murdered woman all have ties to a sinister cult. Jessica finds an eerie painting—of a lighthouse on a remote island—as she investigates, and under the picture is a gruesome poem detailing a murder. The nightmares about her mother suddenly seem all too real, making Jessica wonder if the dead woman might be trying to tell her something about the killings. And as Jessica works frantically to solve her latest case, her horrific past comes roaring back and threatens to destroy her.
Lisa Yamamoto and Jason Nervander, Finland's "most-followed social media celebrities and lifestyle bloggers," haven't been seen since they attended a record launch, in Seeck's outstanding sequel to 2020's The Witch Hunter. Their celebrity makes the search a priority for Det. Jessica Niemi and her colleagues in Helsinki's Violent Crimes Unit, especially when an ominous poem is posted on Yamamoto's Instagram account days after her disappearance: "Deepest sea, darkest grave/A princess sleeps beneath the waves/Soon sea will freeze, snowfall cover/And none shall her tomb discover." A photo of a lighthouse was also posted. One of the comments on the social media site is simply the word justice in Japanese, suggesting that Yamamoto's probably unpleasant fate was merited. The puzzle deepens when a search of the missing woman's home unearths a sketch she made resembling the Instagram image, with a drawing of a schoolgirl standing in front of the lighthouse. Seeck throws in a murder that definitely happened, human trafficking, frog toxin, and somnophilia into the mix, masterfully ratcheting up the tension. Ragnar J nasson fans will be mesmerized.