Henry Christie returns to face a psychopathic killer and a serious contemplation of retirement.
Charlie Wilder is released early from prison on the condition that he wear an electronic tag. It doesn’t take long for him to rid himself of the tag without seeming to be free of it or to plan to open a brothel with his brother, Luke, and a couple of hangers-on. But Charlie’s most satisfying act after his release is running over and killing the abusive prison officer who made his life hell. Detective Superintendent Henry Christie of the Force Major Investigation Team is barely informed of the case before Charlie and his gang have robbed and killed a shop owner for his money. That’s supposed to be the last outrage before they launch their new business venture, but an unexpected cash shortfall sends Charlie and his gang into hiding at an old farm he and Luke inherited. A series of cuts and consolidations in the Lancashire Constabulary have stretched the FMIT resources thin, and Christie’s the ranking senior officer available to investigate a murder-suicide on a farm near the Wilder brothers’. Tired, aging and overweight, Christie would rather be home in the comfort of his fiancee’s pub than getting late-night calls and dangerous assignments. How dangerous this latest case is he learns only when he and his boss are pulled by chance into a night of terror—the outcome of Charlie’s murderous rage when he realizes that his girlfriend’s been unfaithful.
The fat, jaded Christie is far from the eager rookie of Judgement Call (2014). And this time, Oldham (Low Profile, 2014, etc.) seems bent on upping the bloodshed in a grim Keystone Kops gavotte of capture and escape.