How do you investigate the murder of a woman without a life? That is the challenge facing Cooper and Fry when a reclusive agoraphobic is found shot to death in her home. With no friends, no family, and virtually no contact with the outside world, the dead woman may simply have been the unlucky victim of a random homicide.
At virtually the same time, a raging house fire claims the lives of a young mother and two of her children. But as the debris is cleared, troubling questions remain in the ashes—among them, how did the blaze start, where was the husband at two a.m. the night of the fire, and was it really the flames that killed his family?
Now, as Cooper faces the reemergence of a dark secret he'd hoped to forget, and Fry copes with problems both personal and professional, a horrific possibility begins to take shape: What if the two investigations are somehow connected? A mysterious and unpredictable killer is on the loose. And his next victims could very well be the only two cops who can stop him.
Two gruesome homicides preoccupy Det. Sgt. Diane Fry and Det. Constable Ben Cooper in Booth's ambitious seventh police procedural (after The Dead Place). In England's Peak district, Fry looks into a suspicious house fire that killed Lindsay Mullen and two of her young children, while her husband, Brian, escaped with minor injuries. Meanwhile, Cooper investigates the death of Rose Shepherd, a reclusive woman killed by an apparent sniper-shot through her bedroom window. Both cases yield few clues, and Fry and Cooper run into one dead-end after another. While the link that they eventually uncover between the murders of Shepherd and the Mullens and a notorious Bulgarian gang stretches credulity, Booth compensates with his energetic pace and memorable characters. Genre fans may find a subplot involving psychotic hallucinations clich d, but few will be able to predict Booth's twisted conclusion.
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Scared to live
Loved it another when I couldn’t put down looking forward to the next one
I read a lot of books weekly, but never read one by Stephen Booth. Wow! It was just another book to satisfy my addiction to reading, until page 320. I call it the soliloquy on page 320. Beautiful descriptive, beautiful structure. I didn't want to put the book down. It took me awhile to doubt one of the characters, but I finally figured it out. Won't say how it ended, but it was a perfect ending.