Beginning with a 10-year old girl waking to the sound of her mother shouting and seeing the woman shot, Stibbe takes the reader on a twisted journey of murder, drugs, and terror. When Dai Trandahl arrives home to find his wife and daughter missing and a blood-soaked pillow in the bedroom, he calls the police. As Temeke gathers evidence of the mystery of their disappearance, questions arise. Unraveling the threads of a mother whose personality has changed dramatically, the possibility she had killed her daughter, a husband who is an immediate suspect, and the puzzle of how a body could be moved without neighbors seeing anything is a task well suited to Temeke’s investigative abilities. Along with his partner, Malin Santiago, the hunt for the missing mother and daughter takes off.
Stibbe lays out the clues with skill, teasing the reader along. As more characters arrive the suspect list grows longer, more murders occur, and cold cases seem to be connected, Temeke picks at knots, desperate to find the little girl who may be in danger. It’s up to Santiago to interrogate Trandahl, to link him to what seems to be a murder.
The author handles the inner thinking of the 10-year old well. Precocious and smart, Hannah Trandahl is exposed to horrors that would overwhelm other children. Her resilience is phenomenal but still believable. But can she stay alive and save herself and her mother?
Beneath the layers of the case, the relationships of the investigators take interesting turns. For readers who have followed the series, questions about Temeke’s floundering marriage, his relationship with Santiago, and his standing in the department are woven throughout the story. And there is always the mystery of Wingman.
I’m impressed with Stibbe’s ability to hold the reader’s attention through winding plots without losing track of the action. I love the characters. If this is the final book of the series, I will miss them as though they were real people. I’ve looked forward to each book, knowing the story will be good and wondering what paths the characters will take.
I recommend this book to any reader who enjoys a great crime story filled with police procedures, vibrant characters, and the kind of detective work that reminds me of Sherlock Holmes. A five-star plus book!
The perfect life. The perfect lie.
Family man, Dai Trandahl, appears distraught over the disappearance of his wife and ten-year-old daughter. But when a body is discovered in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, the investigation takes a terrifying turn.
Trandahl’s computer reveals evidence of alarming illegal activities, and detectives Temeke and Santiago suspect a connection with a cold case and the recent killing of two young women.
As Santiago works tirelessly to get a confession out of Trandahl, time is running out for Temeke and his unit. Temeke knows he must stop this killer. But at what cost?