Following an anonymous tip, missing persons investigator Dan Sharp makes a grisly find in a burned-out slaughterhouse in Toronto's west end. Someone is targeting known sex offenders whose names and identities were released on the Internet. When an iconic rock star contacts Dan to keep from becoming the next victim, things take a curious turn. Dan's search for a killer takes him underground in Toronto's broken social scene — a secret world of misfits and guerrilla activists living off the grid — where he hopes to find the key to the murders.
This worthy sequel to 2012's Lake on the Mountain, which won a Lambda Award for best gay mystery, begins with missing persons investigator Dan Sharp struggling with his personal life, even as he tries to find a ruthless serial killer. Sharp's effort to locate registered sex offender Darryl Hillary ends in the discovery of the man's mutilated corpse hanging in an old slaughterhouse. Hillary's death is no singular event: someone is using a leaked list of sex offenders to select murder victims. The police have a suspect in the form of abuse victim Gaetan Belanger; what they don't have is any concrete idea where Gaetan is. Although distracted by a potential client who is a rock star, Sharp has resources the Toronto police lack. More importantly, Sharp is armed with an outsider's perspective, allowing him insights the police cannot match. The author eschews a narrow focus; Sharp's efforts to be a good father to his son Ked and a worthy partner to boyfriend Trevor are as central to the novel as the murder mystery. Indeed, Sharp's personal life makes him the man who can unravel the case, which is far more convoluted than the authorities believe. This integration of the personal and professional produces a fascinating read.