One girl missing. One girl dead. A stunning new novel from one of Britain's most original crime writers, Dead Pretty finds Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy and Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh grappling with vigilantes, unsolved murders, and a killer far too close to home.
While a colleague struggles to solve the recent killing of a man too vile to have mourners, Aector McAvoy, Detective Sergeant of the Humberside Police's murder squad, is still haunted by the past. His devotion to his cases is unshakeable, but it’s been nine months since Hannah Kelly disappeared in the quiet English countryside, and it is becoming harder to convince himself that she is just missing instead of dead... especially when another young woman is found brutally murdered.
As McAvoy looks for connections between the women, his boss Trish Pharaoh is preoccupied with troubles of her own. Reuben Hollow--a man convicted of murder with the help of perjured testimony from the Humberside Police--has just been released from prison after a high-profile wrongful conviction suit, putting Pharaoh's reputation at stake. But when her house is broken into and her children threatened, she soon learns it is not only her good name that’s in danger.
As the cases intertwine and Pharaoh’s behavior becomes more erratic, McAvoy must question who he can trust if he is to uncover Hannah's fate and find justice for the dead--without joining them himself.
Gritty, atmospheric, and endlessly entertaining, David Mark's Dead Pretty is an absorbing, twisty ride readers won’t soon forget.
Mark's gritty fifth series crime novel (after 2015's Taking Pity) finds Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy fixated on two unsolved cases: the disappearance of one young woman and the brutal murder of another nine months later. McAvoy's friend Det. Constable Helen Tremberg wishes that "he were able to free himself of the barbed wire of conscience that he has wrapped in and around himself." Meanwhile, handsome, charming Reuben Hollow, who was convicted of murder, is freed when his conviction is quashed on appeal. This reflects badly on McAvoy's boss, Det. Supt. Trish Pharaoh, who originally put Hollow behind bars. When evidence connects Hollow to several murders of men who have abused women, McEvoy wonders whether Hollow is a killer of abusers and women. Or is he in fact the nice guy he appears to be? And what about Pharaoh is she a good cop or a corrupt one? Mark keeps the reader guessing. Strong prose, intriguing characters, and high tension make this a standout.