Southern England’s Isle of Wight provides the backdrop for a series of interlinked murders.
DI Andy Horton (Dead Man’s Wharf, 2009, etc.) had hoped for a holiday free from crime and wrangling with his ex-wife over visitation with his eight-year-old daughter Emma. He gets neither. While strolling a grassy spit known as the Duver, he finds a frightened young woman holding a pistol over a corpse. Thea Carlsson claims that her psychic powers led her to her brother Owen’s body, but DCI Birch of the Isle of Wight’s force thinks her motives are more sinister. Surprisingly, Andy’s usually pompous boss gives him leave to investigate, and he soon finds that Owen is only the latest victim. His girlfriend, Arina Sutton, was killed by a hit-and-run driver just months ago, in the same spot where Owen’s parents died in a crash. A fire at Owen’s house sends Thea to the hospital, from which she vanishes—persuading Birch that she’s responsible not only for Owen’s death but for the stabbing of a groundskeeper at the estate belonging to Arina’s late father. But Andy finds himself drawn to wild-eyed Thea, and though distracted by a frantic call from Emma pleading not to be sent away to boarding school, he rounds out his holiday desperately trying to prove that the missing woman isn’t a multiple murderer.
A rapid-fire tale with perhaps one red herring too many.