Can criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson get inside the mind of a killer before he strikes again?
A missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin mountains, hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair. Twenty-four hours later, a second schoolgirl is found in a shallow grave - her body identically arranged. The hunt for the killer is on.
The police call in profiler Dr Kate Pearson to get inside the mind of the murderer before he strikes again. But there's one vital connection to be made - Ellie Brady, a mother institutionalised fifteen years earlier for the murder of her daughter Amy.
What connects the death of Amy Brady to the murdered schoolgirls? As Kate Pearson begins to unravel the truth, danger is closer than she knows . . .
Irish author Phillips makes her U.S. debut with a masterly psychological thriller, set mainly in and around Dublin in the spring and fall of 2011. The Dublin police call in Dr. Kate Pearson, who counsels young offenders, because of her extensive experience of criminal profiling in the U.K. A farmer outside the city has found the grave of a 12-year-old girl on his land; she's dressed in her school uniform, her body arranged with meticulous care. An examination of the corpse reveals that her hair was braided and adorned with red bows after her death. When a 13-year-old girl goes missing and is subsequently discovered dead in similar circumstances, Kate realizes that a serial killer is at work. Phillips delicately interweaves the stories of Kate, who feel increasingly distant from her husband; Ellie Brady, a woman who has been institutionalized for 15 years after murdering her daughter; and the killer. The foibles, fears and strengths of each fully realized character all come into play and affect their judgment. In short, they are people the reader will care about.