Karen Sharpe has been promoted to Detective Sergeant, but are the pressures of the job getting too much for her?
When the battered body of a young girl is discovered, it kicks off an inquiry which pushes Karen and a trainee DC, Marcus Roth, too close for comfort, both on and off-duty. The investigation leads to a woman with a violent past - a woman with a six-year-old boy in her care...
As the terrible truth emerges, the inquiry becomes a race against time before another child becomes a victim.
The dysfunctional personal lives of the lead police characters overshadow Connor's fifth novel featuring West Yorkshire Det. Sgt. Karen Sharpe (after 2007's Falling). Sharpe must contend with a trainee, Det. Constable Marcus Roth, who as a child prodigy was socially warped by being accelerated in school and thus placed with much older peers. An unrepentant ladies' man, the 28-year-old Roth, despite being attracted to Sharpe, has few compunctions about getting involved with her teenage daughter. Sharpe, for her part, is sleeping with a Pakistani Category-A crook, whom the security services wanted her to get close to as a means of learning about his brother. Sharpe soon crosses the line between playing a part and getting emotionally involved. The soap-operaish background tends to obscure the main plot line, the investigation of a young woman's brutal murder.