Acclaimed and internationally bestselling crime novelist Caz Frear returns with her third superb novel featuring Cat Kinsella, a cop “on par with Susie Steiner’s and Tana French’s female detectives” (Kirkus Reviews).
Four victims. Killer caught. Case closed . . . or is it?
Growing up in a London family with ties to organized crime, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella knows the criminal world better than most cops do. As a member of the city’s Metropolitan Police, she’s made efforts to distinguish herself from her relatives. But leading an upstanding life isn’t always easy, and Cat has come close to crossing the line, a fact she keeps well hidden from her superiors.
Working their latest case, Cat and her partner Luigi Parnell discover a connection to a notorious criminal: serial killer Christopher Masters, who abducted and killed several women in 2012. Though the cops eventually apprehended him, his final victim, Holly Kemp, was never found and he never confessed to her murder, despite the solid eyewitness testimony against him. Now, six years later, the discovery of Holly’s remains near Cambridge seems to be the definitive proof needed to close the case.
Still, a few key items of evidence don’t quite line up. As Cat and Parnell look closer, they find discrepancies that raise troubling questions. But someone will do anything to keep past secrets hidden—and as they inch closer to the truth, they may be putting themselves in jeopardy . . .
The discovery in a remote area of Cambridgeshire of a missing woman's remains reignites a cold case, in British author Frear's middling third novel featuring Det. Constable Cat Kinsella (after 2019's Stone Cold Heart). In 2012, in what was dubbed the Roommate Case, the confessed killer, Christopher Masters, lured four women to his house by advertising a room for rent and killed three of them. The fourth, Holly Kemp, escaped and went missing. Six years later, Kinsella and her partner, Det. Sgt. Luigi Parnell investigate Kemp's murder now that her body's been found. Because Kemp was killed in a different manner than the other victims, and her body was found miles away from Masters's house, the partners suspect that someone else murdered her. Parnell visits the only witness to the roommate case, but he finds her retelling unconvincing. Kinsella and Parnell's interview with a gangster, who falsely denies knowing Kemp, is also unproductive. Eventually, the pieces come together at the cumbersome conclusion. Kinsella remains frustratingly underdeveloped beyond her family's history of ties to organized crime, and the narrative can be confusing at times. Frear has done better.