A Halifax ex-cop enters the twisted world of the dark web in search of a missing journalist and his own estranged daughter.
T.J. Peterson (The Hell of It All, 2017, etc.) and his girlfriend, Patty, have hit a bad patch. Even worse, he has minimal contact with his runaway daughter, Katy, just occasional taunting photos of the ratholes she calls temporary homes. Their estrangement has been a major factor contributing to his recent breakdown; he’s also been booted from the police force. But his detective instincts come alive again when street preacher Ziggy sells him the cellphone of journalist Britney Comer, who’d recently called Peterson with news of Katy. As teenagers, Britney and Katy had lived on the edge: sex and drugs and staying out all night. Britney cleaned up her act; Katy, not so much. Then Jeremy Mains, Britney’s live-in boyfriend, reports that she hasn’t been home in two days. Could Katy have been the focus of a story Britney was working on about prostitutes? The search for Britney becomes inextricably entangled with Peterson’s urgent quest to find and save his daughter. Flashbacks fill in details of his sad childhood, his time on the force, and his wife’s death in a car accident. With help from former colleague Detective Grace “Bernie” Bernard, Peterson begins tracking down leads. His many interviews become a painful reminder of all his past mistakes, goading him to make amends. The trail leads through a plethora of sleazy characters involved in online porn and “gore sites.”
Kroll’s hard-boiled prose feels satisfyingly retro. The final volume in his trilogy wraps up loose ends without pulling punches.