This is a standalone Porthkennack novel.
After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.
Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew Ruan Gwynn come upon him.
Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other.
Beecroft's latest ably handles suspense but is light on romance. Inexplicably, after British financier Sam Atkins suffers a debilitating panic attack at work and his family reacts with cruelty, he decides that living as an unemployed nomad in a van is preferable to living in a permanent dwelling and working. While wandering throughout the British countryside, he stumbles over a horrific scene, a ritualistically killed sheep and not far behind are the sheep's tough-as-nails owner, Jennifer, and her handsome, grounded nephew, Ruan Gwynn. At first they think a terrified Sam had something to do with the death of the sheep, but then they return with Sam to his van and find a bag of bloody entrails where Sam's laptop used to be. Since they suspect that it's unlikely that the culprit would bother to keep the entrails, they believe Sam's innocence. Soon, Ruan's headstrong teenage niece, Tegan, confides another mystery: an internet troll is driving local schoolgirls to suicide and threatens death to the rest of the victims if they tell. Unless Sam and Ruan can get to the bottom of both mysteries, others are in danger. Beecroft (Angels of Istanbul) expertly characterizes Sam's panic, Ruan's calming presence, human evil, and sustaining love. This is an appealing, heartfelt tale.