In a chilling tale of revenge, second-novelist Wignall’s second (after People Die, 2002) follows a young Englishwoman deeper and deeper into the pit as she seeks to avenge her family’s murder.
Sometimes fate makes you grow up very quickly: Ella Hatto, for example, was transformed overnight from a carefree university student on holiday with her boyfriend into an orphan with a price on her head. While Ella was backpacking through Italy, someone broke into her family’s home in England and killed her father, mother, and brother—and, at almost precisely the same moment, two gunmen came out of a crowd and nearly shot Ella herself. She was saved by a mysterious hit-man named Lucas, who had been secretly hired by Ella’s father to guard her. Lucas manages to get Ella safely back to England, where she discovers (in her next great shock) that she is now an immensely rich woman, having inherited a vast fortune that her father had made through drugs, armaments, and money-laundering. Reluctant to cooperate too fully with the police for fear of revealing the source of her father’s income, Ella turns to Lucas for help in finding out who killed her family. Following a scent that leads from London to Budapest to the Caribbean, she delves into a strange new world of contract killers, offshore banks, and false identities as she becomes more and more consumed with a lust for revenge. Young, emotional, and headstrong, Ella has no patience for the (surprisingly strict) code of conduct that prevails in this underworld, and it’s only a matter of time before she steps over the line. What was it that St. Paul said about the wages of sin?
Sharp, bleak, and compelling: Wignall’s world is darker than anything imagined in Hammett or Chandler.