AN EXTRAORDINARY KILLER HAS ARRIVED IN LONDON, HELL-BENT ON DESTRUCTION
Joel Sorrell, a bruised, bad-mouthed PI, is a sucker for missing person cases. And not just because he’s searching for his daughter, who vanished five years after his wife was murdered. Joel feels a kinship with the desperate and the damned. He feels, somehow, responsible. So when the mysterious Kara Geenan begs him to find her missing brother, Joel agrees. Then an attempt is made on his life, and Kara vanishes... A vicious serial killer is on the hunt, and as those close to Joel are sucked into his nightmare, he suspects that answers may lie in his own hellish past.
In Williams's highly effective series launch, a serial killer thriller set in and around London, the mysterious Kara Geenan hires PI Joel Sorrell to locate her 18-year-old brother, Jason Pythian. "She was crazier than a purse full of whelks," Sorrell observes, illustrating his pithy Chandlerisms, which require a command of British slang to fully decode. Sorrell, an ex-cop whose only companion is his cat, is tormented both by the vicious murder of his wife, Rebecca, three years earlier and the subsequent disappearance of his 13-year-old daughter, Sarah. After Sorrell endures a frightful beating, he tries to untangle an array of corpses that somehow are connected to the case of the missing Jason. Williams (The Unblemished) expertly limns Sorrell's self-destructive tendencies in his bitter asides, but the book's greatest strength is its portrait of Wire, the young serial killer whose horrible childhood ultimately sets him on his monstrous path. The suspenseful face-off between Sorrell and Wire carries an unexpected charge of pathos.