How far would a daughter go to get her father’s attention?
It’s hard to believe that a young teen would slash the throat of her twin sister, stab her mother over 30 times, then knock her father unconscious, no matter how much she’d been ignored. Yet Lydia is the only one left standing when London coppers Josh Derwent and Maeve Kerrigan (The Reckoning, 2012, etc.) arrive at the Wimbledon home of defense attorney QC Philip Kennford. She’s hysterical, but once he recovers from his bashing, her father hardly seems to care; he simply packs her off to his dead wife’s sister to recover, leaving Derwent and Kerrigan to ponder whether Daddy, Mummy or one of the twins—sexually adventurous, now-dead Laura, or introverted Lydia, with her eating and self-cutting disorders—motivated the murderer. Superintendent Godley, who has his hands full trying to deal with the Skinner-Goldsworthy drug wars, urges diplomacy in dealing with the high-powered QC, but Derwent is incapable of discretion, and Kerrigan is distracted by whether to leave her live-in boyfriend, Rob, and deal with a stalker on her own. Savannah, Philip’s beautiful daughter from his first marriage, has earned his enmity by falling in love with Zoe, and the homophobic barrister is most displeased when Lydia decides to move in with them. An overdue admission brings Kerrigan and Derwent to Savannah and Zoe’s Sussex farm, where one daughter lies dead, another is ready to immolate herself, and an unacknowledged half sibling finally breaks down and identifies the object of all this carnage.
So many plots, so few pages to contain them. And Derwent is so irritating that readers may well wish the killer’s list had included him.