The murder of a police officer is only the first of a rash of killings that devastates London’s police force.
Partway through a departmental wedding reception, DC Maeve Kerrigan (Bet Your Life, 2014, etc.) has to pry her partner, DI Josh Derwent, off a bridesmaid to tell him the party's over. Sgt. Terence Hammond has been found shot dead in a car just outside London’s Richmond Park. Maeve discovers evidence that he wasn’t alone, and his wife isn’t going to like the details. In fact, Hammond’s widow is more angry than grief-stricken, and his daughter is resentful and closemouthed. Suspecting domestic abuse, Maeve and Derwent discuss the case with a school counselor. Derwent, an arms expert, thinks the shooter must have used an illegal long-range weapon. His startling reaction to testing firearms at a gun club reminds Maeve that her Lothario of a partner’s not as invulnerable as he pretends, probably because of the army experiences he never talks about. He’s not the only one with a secret: Maeve knows something about Superintendent Charles Godley that she wishes she didn’t, and her private meetings with him convince Derwent she’s having an affair with the boss. Balancing her loyalty to Godley and her discomfort at knowing the truth about him, all while trying to sidestep the quagmire of office politics, doesn’t make her field work any easier, especially after a police task force is ambushed. The subsequent death of a rookie cop affects Maeve both professionally and personally and drives her to pursue the Hammond case into a deadly web of obsession and revenge.
Casey has devised both an intricate puzzle and an intriguing partnership for her detective’s fifth outing. Tough, reckless Maeve and the charismatic Derwent both have something to prove, especially that they aren’t as attracted to each other as they obviously are.