Robotham switches heroes but holds on to a central feature of his smashing debut (Suspect, 2005): the detective who’s also a leading suspect.
One day three years ago, Sarah Jordan went to Dolphin Mansions to meet her friend Michaela Carlyle. Mickey, the daughter of an aristocratic British mother and a Russian gangster, vanished before she made it to the front door. Though they eventually convicted a local sex offender on circumstantial evidence, the Metropolitan police never found any trace of Mickey. Now she’s back in the news with shocking suddenness. A ransom demand has been made by someone who provides details of her household only she or her mother could know. And DI Vincent Ruiz, the head of Serious Crimes who spearheaded the earlier investigation, has been found floating in the Thames near an abandoned, blood-soaked skiff, his leg shredded by a sniper’s bullet and his memory shredded by trauma. A photo of Mickey in his pocket suggests that Ruiz was on the trail of her kidnappers, but he can’t remember a thing about it. Suspected of murder by his superiors, Ruiz has only one resource: £2,000,000 worth of diamonds he’s found in a gym bag. But they swiftly turn into a liability when Aleksei Kuznet, Mickey’s fearsome father, announces that they’re his stones, he’s already paid them as a ransom for his daughter and he wants them or Mickey back instantly.
Bold and bracing, though following the plot twists is like riding a bucking bronco.