Weaver, author of the popular U.K.–based David Raker series, brings his missing person investigator to American readers for the first time.
Raker was once a journalist but now devotes his life to investigating disappearances. His present case involves a missing family, Paul and Carrie Ling and their two daughters. Emily, Carrie’s sister, found the Lings’ home deserted, dinner still cooking on the stove, the dog wandering around and milk spilled on the floor. No one, including police, has seen them since. Emily contacts the self-styled investigator—her old flame—and enlists his help in finding her sister. Raker, recovering from wounds suffered in a previous case, soon discovers himself knee-deep in a conspiracy to quiet one of the family members, and he follows the trail from an English fishing village to the bright lights of Las Vegas and back to England. Along the way, he encounters another old friend, a rich and successful man and a shadowy figure who seems hellbent on eliminating witnesses—but Raker isn't sure why. Eventually he finds his answers, but not without accumulating enough dead bodies to fill a spacious morgue and so many plot twists that readers will wonder why the bad guys didn’t kill him at the beginning and be done with it. Weaver’s a good enough writer; his stories brim with atmosphere and plentiful action. His use of disconnected flashbacks proves disconcerting, however, and his writing is heavily invested in single-sentence paragraphs, which lends a breathless, artificial urgency to even the most mundane task or rumination.
A promising debut that could have been better with defter editing.