Several recent gruesome murders in Hull are linked to serial rapist Sebastien Hoyer-Wood, who has been grievously disabled and institutionalized for many years. Detective Aector McAvoy, a large, capable, well-respected detective, takes the case. During his investigation McAvoy interviews a series of witnesses and uncovers what may have been scandalous medical and legal malpractice as well as an incident long ago when several people - not knowing who he was - helped save the rapist's life. It seems all this has somehow driven someone to murder.
Meanwhile, McAvoy's colleague Helen Tremberg - who is helping investigate drug gangs in Hull - inadvertently gets involved with a gang member, jeopardizing the drug investigation. And McAvoy's wife Roisin foils drug gang member Adam Downey when he attempts to retrieve his hidden cocaine from her friend's business, which seriously pisses off Downey and sets him on Roisin's trail.
The serial murderer and drug gang story lines are skillfully written and mesh together well; both are compelling and the revelation of the murderer is a believable twist. The author, David Mark, also does an excellent job with character development, and all the people - detectives, doctors, nurses, gang members, and so on - are well-drawn and believable. Mark also masterfully describes the almost unbearable hot, muggy weather during the police investigations; the reader can almost feel the fog and heat coming off the page.
My one quibble with the story is McAvoy's almost cloying adoration of his wife Roisin. I'm all in favor of affection between spouses but McAvoy's "obsession" with his wife made me uncomfortable.
All in all this is an excellent mystery book, very highly recommended.
Rating: 4 stars