The past meets the present when a child’s kidnapping echoes a story from long ago.
Nicola Reynolds is shocked when her teenage daughter, Caitlin, doesn’t return from school one day in Birmingham, England. To hear it from Nicola, Caitlin can do no wrong, so there’s no reason for her to be delayed. Local DI Sarah Quinn is called in to investigate, but even the usually astute detective can’t seem to find a reason for the girl’s disappearance. That’s because Nicola isn’t being forthcoming. She’s received an email from someone who claims to have snatched Caitlin and warns the worried mother about involving the police. Meanwhile, calculating reporter Caroline King knows something big must be afoot when she gets her own note from the kidnapper. In spite of Quinn’s long adversarial relationship with Caroline, the two have formed a mutually beneficial if wary working relationship of late (Dying Bad, 2013), and Quinn must figure out what she can reveal to the reporter and what she might expect in return. As days pass with little headway, Quinn realizes that Nicola may be obscuring key facts about Caitlin’s disappearance but can’t figure out why the mother would do anything that might get in the way of her daughter’s safe return. All the while, the kidnapper continues to up the ante by revealing his motive to Nicola, tying it to shocking facts about her own family’s past that she’s now forced to face.
By cutting back on the biting interplay between the stoic Quinn and the calculating King, Carter loses the most distinctive and effective piece of her procedural formula.