PI John Craine is struggling to cope with the weight of his past. Sixteen years ago his wife, Stacy, was brutally murdered. Craine found her body in their bed. And since then, to escape the pain and the unanswered questions, he has buried himself in work by day, and whisky by night.
But one phone call changes everything. The mother of missing young woman Anna Gerrish calls on his services, and Craine soon finds himself at the centre of a sinister web of corruption and lies that leads back into the murky waters of the past - and to the night that Craine has spent over a decade trying to forget. As he delves deeper and deeper into the case everything gets increasingly, terrifyingly, personal. And it's down to Craine to stop history from repeating itself ...
At the start of children's author Brooks's solid first adult novel, PI John Craine is sitting in a parked car videotaping Preston Elliot, who's suspected of falsely claiming he severely injured his back at work, on a mean street in the dreary English town of Hey. When Elliot notices he's being filmed, he goes over to Craine's car and destroys the detective's camcorder. Craine, a classic tortured soul, whose wife was brutally murdered in their bedroom 16 years earlier, soon finds himself in more trouble. Helen Gerrish, a bizarre and nervous woman, hires him to investigate the disappearance of her grown daughter, Anna, who the police believe scampered off on her own accord. Craine's search for Anna takes him into Hey's violent, drug-addled underground and, eventually, into a confrontation with his own dark past. The plot meanders, but fans of contemporary British noir will be satisfied.