U.S. crime-fighting units get much-needed help from the U.K.
For five years, Scottish forensic scientist Nick Fennimore has been searching for his young daughter, who disappeared after his wife was murdered. In spite of a promising new clue, he has to leave the case behind, at least geographically, for business in the U.S. He’s wangled a speaking engagement in St. Louis in hopes of meeting with and getting help from Chief Inspector Kate Simms, who’s temporarily attached to the St. Louis PD in a method-exchange program. Although the murky past they’ve shared (Everyone Lies, 2014) makes Kate reluctant to see Fennimore, she has little choice when he becomes part of an Oklahoma team with the same goal as the St. Louis task force: find out who’s responsible for torturing and eventually killing a series of women and abducting their children. In at least three cases, the women were recovering addicts devoted to their children, whom the perp uses as leverage over their mothers, and the sadistic M.O. is practically identical in each grisly crime. Haunted by the parallels between these cases and his own tragedy, Fennimore finds temporary relief with Abigail Hicks, a tough, young Oklahoma deputy sheriff who will do what it takes to apprehend the killer. Meantime, the young son of the latest victim has escaped from the killer. But the boy, who fears the police as much as the man who murdered his mother, won’t seek the help the combined crime solvers would give him if only they could find him. The teams gradually realize that they're up against an even more complex adversary than they thought—and that time is running out.
Shifts in time, place, and point of view make this Simms-Fennimore case harder to follow than its predecessor. But the two authors writing as Garrett evoke not only the suspense of serial killings, but an emotional triangle and a tantalizingly unresolved crime that keep the pages flying.