“Sometimes, there’s a thin line between love and hate.
Or at least that’s one theory for DI Zoe Dolan, tracking the Creeper – a stalker who’s been breaking into women’s homes and attacking them. But the Creeper’s violence is escalating and there’s no pattern, no clue as to how he’s getting in, and no clue as to who’s next.
Then Jane Webster gets a call to the helpline where she volunteers. It’s meant to be a confidential service and Jane is torn – it could be a hoax, but the soft voice at the end of the line has the ring of truth about it. He says he loves these women – but it’s a love that ends in blood.
When Jane tells the police, it should be the lead that Zoe needs – but it only pulls her further into a case that is already taking her dangerously close to the past she’s never fully escaped. For Jane, Zoe and all the other young women of the city, suddenly nowhere is safe. Particularly their own bedroom at the dead of night…”
Born in Leeds in the 1970s, Steve Mosby is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which is “The Nightmare Place”.
I haven’t previously heard of Mosby, but from what I can gather his books seem to be standalone novels, rather than a series featuring recurring characters. Certainly, there’s nothing in this novel to suggest any kind of previous history for any of the characters.
What we do get, though, is a decent back story of the central character, DI Zoe Dolan. As is often the case, the main police character has some issues relating to their past, but with Dolan – although it takes time to reveal itself – we get something original.
The story is told from alternating viewpoints – Dolan’s first person recounting and third person narrative for a number of other characters, including the helpline volunteer Jane Webster.
After a dreamlike prologue it’s straight down to business in chapter one. A man is thinking about a woman that he has in his life, and just how lucky he is. There is a sense of unease and that things don’t quite add up, but the final sentence of the chapter still comes as a shock, and sets the tone for the rest of the story.
The crimes committed here are increasing in severity and clearly the person responsible is very dangerous, but who is it and how are they managing to target their victims and get into the houses undetected?
There are hints as to who the bad guy might be throughout the book, which are very cleverly vague, so when things do start to get revealed it does come as a surprise. About half way through the book it looks like the police are on the right track, only for the rug to be pulled right out from under them (and from under the reader!).
I was very impressed with this book. Arguably the first chapter is slightly undermined by subsequent revelations – but that could just be in my interpretation. In any event, I would most definitely recommend this very good murder mystery…