Carver (the pen name of a British husband-and-wife team) adds another grisly layer to her Marina Esposito series.
Marina and Phil have finally married and have a 3-year-old daughter, Josephina. Phil, a police investigator, and Marina, a psychologist the police call in to help with tough cases, have traveled a rocky road together in the past. Now, all their joy has been shattered: Phil is in a coma, his father dead and his mother badly injured, baby Josephina is missing, and Marina is on the run. But Marina wasn’t the one who caused the explosion that led to this terrible outcome; someone else is pulling the strings. Not only does this person have her baby, but the attacker is forcing Marina to perform some dirty work that makes her look guilty to the detectives investigating her case. Set on the Suffolk coastline, where Marina and her family were on holiday when the attack took place, Carver's latest follows the author’s go-to storyline of a depraved killer on the loose, once again determined to ruin Marina’s life while wreaking as much havoc as possible. Also like Carver’s previous forays, this one comes tightly packed with gore, depravity, characters who never fully develop and plot twists that fail to move the narrative forward. And that’s the problem with this series: Rather than creating tension, the author’s style, peppered with incidental dialogue and only tangentially relevant exposition, rarely offers the reader an opportunity to catch his or her breath. While this structure can create a sense of urgency, here it backfires and wears you down.
Overly long and lacking in polish.