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Oh my! This was a supremely convoluted case where the forensics led to the discovery of the killer being linked to the main detective Morgan Brookes. The story was eerie in its premise and the killer perverted enough to bring the trail of blood to Morgan’s house. Author Helen Phifer wrote a seamless story where the hunter became the hunted with a stroke of a pen.
Book 2 of the series, I didn’t remember the earlier book as I’d read too many police procedural in this year, but this book stood strong as a standalone with the murderous case. Called to the scene of a young girl’s murder, Morgan and her partner Ben started their investigation. The DNA pointed toward a convict who had been incarcerated since the past 20 years. Then the killer struck again, taunting the lead detective, and the DNA seemed a closer match to her. Did author Helen Phifer make Morgan the killer?
The characters were etched well, where they worked as a team even when the forensics pointed toward one of their own. I liked how the subplots laid a trail of breadcrumbs, waiting patiently for me to follow them. The killer went one step ahead and sent texts to Morgan from the dead girl’s phone. I liked the fear and the icky feeling it evoked.
Morgan’s family past was well amalgamated showing its effects in the present. There were a few shockers awaiting her which made the twists and turns in the story. Suspense was slowly built up as it usually is in such a story. I was too lazy to try to guess the killer as I just wanted to enjoy the writing. Luckily, I could keep pace with the story which read fast where the intrigue pulled me in with its short, snappy chapters.
Quite a kickass police procedural with the author inverting the whole plot.
‘Mama, wake up.’
The little girl reached for her mother’s face with one pudgy hand. But the eyes stayed closed, and the blood continued to trickle across the floor.
When the body of a young woman is found, tied to her bed and the victim of a brutal attack in her own home, Detective Morgan Brookes is sickened by what she finds as she searches the house. And unprepared for the nightmares it inspires about her childhood.
When the DNA collected gives a positive ID, Morgan can’t wait to put the attacker behind bars. But the person it matches to is already in prison. How could the DNA of someone who has been locked up for over twenty years have shown up in Morgan’s crime scene? And then they make another close match. To Morgan herself.
Faced with the impossible proof that she is somehow connected to this case, Morgan delves deep into the crimes of a killer who stalked the Lake District two decades ago. But distracted by the old case, she misses the signs that he has found a new victim. And when he strikes close to home, Morgan finally realises that she has been living on borrowed time. To find this killer, it’s clear she must confront the nightmares in her past…
Publication Date: December 2020
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be found here.