Saturday, September 24, 2016



    One of ace writer Stuart Neville's most complex, tough and endearing characters returns - DCI Serena Flanagan.  She already has a plateful of problems - she's in mandatory therapy due to a recent case that went awry, her husband has not yet forgiven her for letting her career come to close to their home.  He wants her to give up her job to save their marriage.  She fears if she doesn't do this she'll lose her two children.  However, Serena can no more give up being a cop than she can stop breathing.

    In the midst of this personal turmoil she gets an early morning go to the scene of a sudden death.   Henry Garrick, the owner of a greatly successful Belfast car dealership has apparently taken his own life.  And why would anyone be surprised?  Some months before Henry had been involved in an auto accident that left him maimed and bedridden.  Unable to care for himself he has lain in his bed cared for by his nurse and his wife, Roberta, for an onerous period of time.  Taking morphine for release from this existence seems to make perfect sense.  To everyone that is except Serena.

    Initially just two things make her unwilling to accept the preliminary finding of suicide - the placement of a photograph by Henry's bed and the cheerful optimism that his nurse said she admired in him.  The Rev. Peter McKay has been a close friend of the Garricks and as her own marriage seems about to fail Serena confides in him and asks for his spiritual advice.  Little does she know that McKay's own personal life is as fragile as hers.

    With what she feels is an ultimatum coming from her husband,  little help from her boss and a warning from a local politician to stop harassing Roberta Serena stubbornly presses on in her investigation.  What she discovers will shock and surprise - all of which makes for a terrific dark thriller.  Stuart Neville is at the top of his game!

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