The lone survivor of a balloon crash flees from a heartless killer bent on silencing her.
When Patrick Faa dispatches his victims, he likes a nice, quiet place. The rural north of England, near the Scottish border, would seem perfect. Who’d have thought that a hot air balloon, carrying 12 passengers and experienced pilot Sean Allan, would drift across the sky just as Patrick was bashing his latest quarry with a rock? Patrick feels he has no choice but to bring the balloon down with a shot to the pilot’s head. He finishes off the passengers who survive the impact of the crash by breaking their necks, betting that the injuries he inflicts will be masked by those sustained in the crash. But he misses one. The police, when they finally arrive on the scene of what looks like a tragic accident, find the bodies of all the passengers except Jessica Lane, who arranged the balloon ride as a treat for her sister’s 40th birthday—a rare treat since, as a member of the Carmelite order housed at Wynding Priory, Isabel Jones hasn’t left the convent since she became Sister Maria Magdalena at age 18. Superintendent Ajax Maldonado is frantic to find the lone survivor, who’s now wandering dazed through Northumberland National Park, in large part because she’s the only one who can tell the police exactly how the crash occurred. But Patrick is just as eager to find her for exactly the same reason. Criminal, policeman, victim: Bolton plays the three sides of her triangle deftly against the middle, delving into their pasts and presents but hinting at a future readers can only guess at.
Less of a shock to the system than Daisy in Chains (2016) but still guaranteed to provide its share of chills.