Tom Killgannon, ex–undercover police officer and now in witness protection, is recalled to active service by a local police task force, headed by DS Sheridan. His mission is to befriend notorious child killer Noel Cunningham and find out where he buried the bodies of his final two victims.
The catch? Tom has to obtain that information from within Blackmoor Prison itself.
Undercover and with no backup, Tom soon runs into danger.
In the prison is convicted gangster Dean Foley. He used to run Manchester’s biggest gang, until Tom’s testimony put him away for life. He recognizes Tom, and so begins a cat-and-mouse game as Tom fights for survival before Foley can get his revenge.
But why can’t Tom reach DS Sheridan, and what is the real reason he has been sent to Blackmoor Prison?
In British author Waites's relentlessly tense if flawed sequel to 2020's The Old Religion, the police persuade former undercover cop Tom Killgannon, who's been in the witness protection program in rural Cornwall, to pose as a convict in a local prison. Killgannon's mission is to befriend an infamous child murderer and get him to reveal the whereabouts of his final two victims' bodies. The assignment turns deadly when Killgannon finds out a gangster he put behind bars for life is in the prison and is obsessed with retribution. When Killgannon's contact outside the prison is murdered, he realizes the people closest to him Lila, a runaway teen living at his house he's been helping, and love interest Pearl are in mortal danger, and he's powerless to help them. Waites's analysis of the bleak histories and psyches of his diverse and deeply developed characters is spot on ("It's not just the things you do. It's the things that are done to you"), but some contrived situations near the end undermine credibility. This talented author has done better.