Every now and then, I need to depart from my usual smutty reading and pick up something suspenseful. Lucky for me, I found this book.
It is, in a word, chilling.
David Murphy, a Liverpool DI, needs a comeback. We learn, over the course of the novel, that David is approaching the end of his tether. He is attempting to rebound from a case gone bad, as well as the demise of his second marriage. His coworkers suspect him of being near emotional catastrophe, so when he does have an anger blow-up, no one is terribly surprised.
He is handed an apparent one-off murder, albeit a grisly one. A young woman is dead, and attached to her is a letter detailing a psychological study. David assumes someone close to the victim committed the crime, as does DC Laura Rossi, assigned to work with him on the case. But when a second dead body shows up, touting a different experiment, David and Laura begin to suspect that they are dealing with a serial killer.
In addition to David and Laura’s points of view, we also get in the head of Rob Barker, a worker at the local university, whose girlfriend has been missing for about a year. (We get in her head too.) Rob tells himself that he needs to appear like a grieving boyfriend. His mantra makes us wonder about him.
The murders here are not for the faint of heart, nor is the psychological impetus behind them. What makes them all the more chilling is that we can see how something like this could happen. How someone could take the worst of human experiments and enact them himself.
The characters are as compelling as the story. I like how Luca Veste unfolded David’s story. There is a lot we don’t know, but what we do makes us feel for him. We want to see him succeed. Laura is equally as interesting. A young woman trying to prove herself on the force, we also sense her loneliness. Their pairing is a good one for us readers, and there is hope of more to come.
This is a fantastic mystery, although I keep coming back to that word “chilling.” It will indeed make your blood run cold. But in a good way.