DS Henry Christie, sent to the Midlands to conduct a pro forma outside review of a pair of murders, swiftly discovers that the problems of the Central Yorkshire Police run a lot deeper.
Mark James Wright, whose company specialized in renting heavy machinery, was pulled from his car and stabbed repeatedly. Tom Salter was shot in his own office. What do the two deaths have to do with each other? Probably nothing, Chief Constable John Burnham tells Henry. But Burnham’s force has been shorthanded ever since DS Jack Culver was killed in a collision with a stolen car, and even though Henry’s still recovering from getting shot in the shoulder on his last case (Bad Blood, 2017), he’d appreciate it if the head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team would give him a hand. Burnham’s instincts are on the money but not his sense of proportion. Two more fatalities are waiting around the corner. Faced by a seriously aggravated version of his original problem—more murders to investigate, fewer police officers to investigate with—Henry draws on his old mates outside the festering district for help. And he’ll have abundant reason to bless the moment when DC Diane Daniels, a young officer eager for more experience, announces that she’s been seconded along with him.
A routine tale of rotten coppers distinguished by its brutality, its rapid pace, and its unexpectedly chilling final scene.