Detective Kate Farrer returns to duty after three months of leave following her traumatic abduction. Fearing that she has lost her edge, she reluctantly partners homicide newcomer Oliver Parke, and they are thrown into the investigation of a woman burnt beyond recognition in a house-fire. The post-mortem reveals she had recently given birth, but there is no sign of the baby.
With homicide short-staffed, Kate and Oliver are also ordered to look into the disappearance of a teenage girl. Suspicion falls on Mark Dobbie, a steroid user who is obsessed with the missing girl’s sister. When the detectives find explicit photos of unconscious women in his home, they wonder if they have found their prime suspect.
While the pressure to identify the charred body and find the teenage girl escalates, a quadriplegic is burnt to death in his bed. Shocking links to all three crimes emerge and Kate Farrer’s past demons come back to haunt her. But she must fight them - her partner’s life depends on it.
"Both Farrer and Parke are delightful turns on the standard "veteran and rookie" buddy pairing, as Oliver demonstrates fresh ideas and reasoning that make him an excellent counterpart for Kate’s cynicism and experience. Fox ties several story lines together deftly, and the forensics enrich the story. She then twists the plot assuredly." (Publishers Weekly)
"She writes better than Kathy Reichs ... Patricia Cornwell ... must be looking in her rear vision mirror ... The conclusion is violent, disturbing and unpickable, the reader turning pages with that weight on the chest that makes breathing difficult." (The Weekend Australian)
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Once you start, you can't stop.
- Keiran McLaren