A serial killer bids for freedom with the aid of an unconventional lawyer.
From his refusal to plead either guilty or innocent at his trial for the murders of Zoe Sykes, Jessie Trout, Chloe Wood, and Myrtle Reid, suave, handsome surgeon Hamish Wolfe has confounded the police and the press by his behavior. Some speculate that he’s angling for an insanity plea. DC Peter Weston of the Avon and Somerset police insists, “He’s playing games with us.” The only thing that remains consistent before and after his conviction is Hamish’s insistence that he’s innocent, as he assures his fellow inmates at HMP Isle of Wight–Parkhurst, his family, his legion of rabid followers, including Andy Bear, Mike Shiven, Sirocco Silverwood, and a pair of travelers known only as Odi and Broon who hold rallies and sponsor fairs to argue his case in the press. Nowhere are his pleas more urgent than in his beautifully crafted letters to defense attorney Maggie Rose, famous for exonerating serial killers and repurposing her cases into bestsellers. Maggie resists Hamish’s advances, even when reinforced in person by his mother. But the more she hears, the more she reads, the more intrigued she becomes. Chapters of her next book take shape, sketching details of Hamish’s crimes, his trial, and his long-ago involvement with the Fat Club, a group of Oxford undergrads whose filming of their sexual exploits with overweight partners is the presumed back story to his murder of four overweight women. As Hamish and Maggie circle each other, it’s hard to see who’s the cat and who’s the mouse and impossible to predict where their deadly dance will lead.
No detail should be missed, no nuance overlooked in Bolton’s chilling tale of a master manipulator who leaves nothing to chance.