In Bennington’s (Reunion, 2011, etc.) latest supernatural thriller, Detective Rick Burns has spent a lot of years on the Indianapolis police force, but he’s never seen anything like this.
When a man is found gruesomely murdered in his own home, it’s just another case in a two-year streak of unsolved homicides afflicting the Indiana capital. One more case, one more headache for the troubled detective. Without any clues, leads or anything to link the cases together—except for the particularly brutal ways they were carried out—it’s getting to be more than Rick can handle. Propping him up are his father—a retired cop moonlighting as the station’s janitor—and Rick’s plucky sister-in-law, Stella. Together, they form a pretty good support group, or so they think. What they don’t realize is that they’re half of Rick’s problem: Rick promised his late older brother, Roger, that he wouldn’t let Stella remarry a cop; that’s getting to be a problem, seeing as Rick is falling in love with her. And while it’s nice to have Pops nearby for help when the going gets tough, Rick’s dad is just as likely to remind him that his brother was a better detective. Pops has a point; Rick is often willing to let good police work and common sense take a backseat for the sake of dramatic plot twists. Although that unprofessionalism makes it hard to strictly classify the book as a gumshoe novel, it doesn’t make it any less compelling as a mystery—thanks, in particular, to the appearance (and subsequent disappearance) of a young boy. Rick spots the pale, sickly youth at the scene of the latest crime. Driven by the desperation of only having one lead, Rick decides to follow it, no matter where. Bennington’s simple yet forceful style will keep readers guessing as the investigation takes Rick from the clean streets of Circle City to the darkest corners of the human heart. The truth leads Rick to places he never would have expected—and to questions he might not want answered.
A brutal, emotional thriller that earns its stripes.