A series of attacks that may or not be rape pose a difficult case for DI Joanna Piercy and her colleagues.
Joanna is busy getting ready for a wedding she’s not at all sure she wants when a young girl is found nearly frozen in the parking area of Patches, a local night club in Leek. The disapproving parents and daughter of Joanna’s intended, Dr. Matthew Levin, are making life so difficult for her that the new case is a welcome distraction. The avowed victim, Kayleigh Harrison, is the 14-year-old daughter of a mother who couldn’t care less and a father who went back to London when she was a baby. She claims that she was raped, but her description of a thin older attacker with a London accent doesn’t ring true. Joanna and her team question the clubgoers and staff and watch the surveillance tape but make little progress. The case becomes much more urgent when the university-bound daughter of two local teachers vanishes from Patches and Joanna discovers to the parents’ horror that their beautiful child has been sneaking off to clubs for quite a while. When her body is found, they connect it to another case in a different town where a girl was drugged, raped and nearly killed. Even once they know they’re looking for a sexual predator with a taste for young girls, finding him will be no easy task.
Masters, who writes several different series (Frozen Charlotte, 2011, etc.), here gives Joanna a sturdy police procedural with a touch of romance.