“DI Charlotte Savage has been warned to lay low. After a string of high profile cases, her infamous reputation precedes her.
But when a vulnerable child goes missing, for Savage, it’s too close to home. She’s not the kind of detective who can sit back and watch events unfold.
Then a second child is snatched – echoing a terrifying incident that happened over two decades before. It soon becomes apparent that there is a more chilling motive behind the disappearances.
History looks set to repeat itself. It’s down to Savage to seek out the cold blooded killer. Before it’s third time unlucky. Before it’s too late …”
As before, the complex plot here involves religion (in this case devout Christianity as opposed to the last novel’s Satanism), politicians, conspiracy, a senior police officer with dubious baggage – not to mention gruesome scenes of torture and murder.
Throughout the investigation we are presented with diary entries from one of the characters, as well as an insight into the mind of The Shepherd – a vengeful figure if ever there was one!
Interestingly enough, as well as the above synopsis, I discovered an alternate one online which reads as follows – “When a young boy goes missing and another is found dead, the race is on to track down the perpetrator. But DI Charlotte Savage has barely begun to unravel the tangle of clues when her boss drops her from the investigation and moves her to a cold case.
Meanwhile, a mysterious figure calling himself the Pastor is threatening to enact his own form of justice. He wants to play executioner while letting the public choose the criminals.
Amid the chaos of a media panic and with a populace baying for blood, Savage must work out how her cold case relates to the murdered child and try to find the missing boy before the killer strikes again.
Can she enlist the help of the Pastor?
And if so is she willing to pay the price he demands?”
I don’t know if there is a different version of the novel available, and I presume that the character mentioned there as the Pastor is a re-named version of the Shepherd, but I cannot remember any point on the book where anyone is “letting the public choose the criminals”. Bizarre!
Anyway, this was another really well plotted story and followed on perfectly from “Tell Tale”. Arguably there is some formula starting to show – in terms of repetition of politicians, dodgy cops, religious aspects – but then I suppose many series work precisely because of such familiar themes? Either way, a really good read…