Carver's internationally bestselling debut thriller features a very different kind of serial killer.
A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and lying spread-eagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing. But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two other pregnant women have been killed in this way and their babies taken from them. No one can imagine what sort of person would want to commit such horrible crimes.
When psychologist Marina Esposito is brought in, Phil has to put aside his feelings about their shared past and get on with the job. But can they find the killer before another woman is targeted?
In Carver's impressive debut, an intense British police procedural, Colchester Det. Insp. Philip Brennan and his team investigate the gruesome murders of pregnant women whose unborn children are cut from their bodies. In one instance, the baby may still be alive. When psychologist Marina Esposito, who once had an affair with Phil, contributes her profiling expertise, Marina and Phil have to be careful not to compromise the investigation as they did the last time they worked together. Though they try to maintain a professional distance, Marina and Phil, who was abused as a child but later found a loving foster family, are still drawn to each other. Meanwhile, Marina has found out she's pregnant; indeed, one of the victims was in her pregnancy yoga class. Tension increases as the killer's sordid secrets unfold. Carver never crosses the line into gratuitous violence, while myriad clues and surprising twists keep the reader off-kilter. Fans of Mo Hayder, Chelsea Cain, and Karin Slaughter will find much to like.