Bone-Jarring * Brutal * Intense
Great piece of crime fiction by M. J. Arlidge.
Not your usual fair (Cliche I know, but it’s true)– Detective Inspector Helen Grace pursues a twisted serial killer. The story setting is the English coastal city of Southampton. Grace is a tough, determined police officer who rides a motorbike and prefers to travel through life alone; she nevertheless is beset by personal demons. The killer is kidnapping pairs of victims and torturing them in ways that to tell you would be a spoiler. The identity of the predator unveiled only in the last ten percent of the book comes entirely unexpected.
Much like an out of control car careening towards you on a rainy night, some aspects of this story can be seen coming; nevertheless, they were unique as fingerprints. Piece by jagged piece added up to a chilling razor-sharp tale, and the story never lagged. The cold brutality of the action was felt in every letter of sparing descriptions which were never gratuitous. At times, my stomach lurched at the vivid depictions. The only distraction or complication I felt was a purely American one, the British idioms lent realism but confused me more than once.