Simon Serrailler has just wrapped up a particularly exhausting and difficult case for SIFT – Special Incident Flying Taskforce – and is on a sabbatical on a far flung Scottish island when he is called back to Lafferton by the Chief Constable.
Two local prostitutes have gone missing and are subsequently found strangled. By the time he gets back, another girl has disappeared. Is this a vendetta against prostitutes by someone with a warped mind? Or a series of killings by an angry punter? But then one of the Cathedral wives goes missing, followed by another young married woman, on her way to work.
Serailler follows lead after lead, all of which become dead-ends. The fear is that more women will be killed, and that the murderer is right under their noses; meanwhile the public grow more angry and afraid. It is only through a piece of luck, a chance meeting and a life put in grave danger that he finally gets a result…
Susan Hill has a genius for evoking atmosphere and suspense, and her characters are so real that the reader is caught up not only in the mystery but in the drama of their lives.