Back of the book :
When silence falls, who will hear their cries?
The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.
After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?
What I think :
Zoey is dying ….
She has been Murdered, these are her final minutes in this world.
She has been butchered and tortured then dumped on the roadside in the middle of nowhere in the wilds of rural Scotland.
Her body is found a few hours later by a farmer checking his fields before he starts work for the day. What the pathologist finds is grizzly. A perfect outline of a person has been cut into Zoey’s stomach and on her back. Then on both, the skin has been peeled away, with the killer taking the skin with them.
At the same time in the city, a homeless person, high on drugs is slashed in the face leaving a perfect Z shape. Then later that same afternoon another girl goes missing, this time her young baby is left behind unharmed. Inside the babies pram is a little doll made from human skin … Zoey’s skin …
Can DCI Ava Turner and DC Luc Callanach save the girl ? Are the two cases connected ?
Ava and Luc are back for the fourth helping in the series.
All the old gang are with them, my favourites being DS Lively and his cheekiness and DC Salter and not forgetting the very grumpy but fair Superintendent Overbeck. We are also treated to a new character DS Pax Graham, who makes a bit of an entrance !
There are plenty of twists and turns in this excellent thriller, Luc as always is struggling with is past and personal life. I don’t think he’ll ever be at peace and Ava is getting into her stride as the boss.
This is a gruesome as the other three books, but as ever a really fabulous read.
I always look forward to Helen’s books and can’t wait until number 5 !
I give this marvellous thriller a well deserved 9/10.
Published by Avon on 23/08/18.
A huge Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon for the review copy of the book.
Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.
Zoey had lain for days on a cold, hard table in low light. The cruel joke was that she had been kept fed and watered, relatively unharmed until the end. The sickness was that she had allowed herself to believe she might survive. Years of watching horror movies, of smugly knowing which victim would die and which would live, and still she had fallen into the age-old trap. She had allowed herself to believe what she was told in order to get through the next second, the next minute, the next hour without terror consuming her.
Zoey had a new perspective on fear. There was plenty she could teach the other women at the domestic abuse centre now, not that she would ever get the chance. A bolt of pain shot from her spine through to her stomach, as if her body had been pierced by a spear. The scream she let out sounded more animal than human as it bounced off the asphalt and echoed down the country road. No one was coming. With that thought came a new clarity. She hadn’t been dumped at the roadside in the middle of the night to give her a chance for survival. This was her final punishment. It was her grand humbling.
Her decision wasn’t hard to make.
Zoey put her face to the pillow of road and allowed one leg after the other to slide downwards until she was laid out flat. With the last of her strength she pushed herself onto her side, rolling further into the road, then gravity completed the manoeuvre onto her back, away from the trees at the verge. It didn’t hurt. The good news – and the bad news, she supposed – was that all the pain had gone. All sense that her body had been torn in two had dissolved into the cool October air. If there was nothing else left, she could stare at the moon one last time. Complete dark. She wasn’t within the boundaries of the city, then. No light spilled to dampen the shine of the stars. Scotland’s skies were like nothing else on earth. Zoey might not have travelled much, but she never underestimated the blinding beauty of her homeland, never tired of the landscapes and architecture that had birthed endless folklore and song.