Back of the book :
On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
What I think :
D.I Luc Callenach’s first day in his new job at Police Scotland is not the one you’d want. Having left France and Interpol under a cloud, Luc really needs this job. So when a burning body is found in the Scottish Hills with only a tooth, a piece of cloth and baseball bat as evidence, things aren’t going well. Add to the mix that his colleagues don’t seem to be taking to him, partly because they can’t understand his french accent (he’s half French, half Scottish) and partly because they just don’t like him. D.I Ava Turner, however see’s something in him that the others don’t and slowly they become friends.
Somewhere in Edinburgh, in a house in the suburbs a woman is bound and gagged in a hidden room at the back of the house. In amongst all of this a woman is missing. Elaine Buxton hasn’t been seen for days. Where is Elaine ? is she burnt to a crisp or is she bound and gagged … ?
Then another woman goes missing, the Rev Jayne Magee. Are the disappearances linked to the same abductor/Murderer. Can Luc and his team save these women before its too late ?
This isn’t a ordinary thriller in as much as you have to guess who the murderer is, you find out quite early on and you follow them on their outings to murder and take the women. You really do get the chance to get inside their heads and find out what they’re doing and why.
The relationship between Luc and Ava is quite an odd one, not quite that friendly but not quite not. It will be interesting to see how this develops in future books. However it turns out though, I do think that they’ll always have each others backs.
I didn’t know quite what to expect when I first started to read, When a book starts with a burning body, things always are slightly weird ! But right from that burning body scene the book had me gripped and I found that I couldn’t actually put it down. I was engrossed !! It is a bit gory and explicit in places, which did take a bit of getting used to. There are also plenty of twists and turns.
I found the characters quite complex and I’m sorry to say that I really did have trouble liking Luc. I found him quite standoffish and a bit arrogant, I really hope he gets a bit more likeable in future books. I really liked Ava and felt quite sorry for her in places.
All in all I found this a great debut novel and I’m really looking forward to the next novel.
I give this atmospheric, tense thriller 9/10. (5 Stars )
Published by Avon (Harper Collins) on 26/01/17.
A huge thank you to Helena Sheffield at Avon for the review copy of the book.
Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book …. hope you enjoy it 🙂
‘Come on then, everyone has a reason. Why the police?’ Ava asked as she dipped baguette in melted cheese.
Callanach instantly regretted having asked Ava such a personal question. He should have foreseen having to respond in kind.
His pause was long enough that Ava had fully gauged his reticence before he met her eyes again.
‘You don’t have to answer. It’s not a trick. And tell me if I’m misreading this or being dense, but this is the way it usually works. You ask me a question, I ask you one. We bump into each other at work, we get to know each other better so there’s more trust. When we have a bad day, we smile at one another, remind ourselves that it’s all par for the course.’
‘I know how it works,’ Callanach said. It came out more brusquely than he’d intended and he regretted it immediately. This wasn’t how he’d wanted the evening to go. He readied himself to say sorry.
‘Don’t,’ Ava said. ‘Don’t apologise again. People are who they are. As far as I’m concerned, forcing a square peg into a round hole is a waste of energy. But you’ll have to find a better means of communication than this. Your squad doesn’t have to like you, but they do have to respect you. So here’s the thing. If you don’t say please or thank you to your detectives, they’ll still do what they’re told but they won’t feel a sense of pleasure in working their hardest for you. If you snap at everyone all the time, you’ll drag your team down. And if you don’t let anyone get to know you, whether it’s me or anyone else, then you’ve got no reason to be here because there’ll be no loyalty and no community. And that’s all you have in the police.
It’s what grounds you and supports you. It’s the only thing that makes the job tolerable at the end of the day. Feel free to stop me when you want to explain that you already know all of this.’
Ava stood up, picked up her bag and strode away. Callanach realised she’d left her jacket, grabbed it and turned to call after her. She had already disappeared. Letting out a stream of expletives he returned to the table, threw the jacket back onto her chair and put his head in his hands. He never used to be this person. On top of everything he’d lost – his home, his career, even his mother – he’d become someone he no longer liked. Perhaps Scotland was a mistake, perhaps he was wrong thinking he could take up policing in a new country and that it would be the way it was before. If he was going to run, he should have run much further and never looked back. Slipping on his jacket, he stood up to leave as a glass of wine was thrust into his hand. He stared at Ava.
‘Going somewhere?’ she asked.
‘I assumed you’d . . .’ he stuttered, trying to stop the words before he looked even more foolish than he already did.