Lisa Gardner writes novels with twists and turns in the way that few others writers do and this book will keep you guessing all the way through.
Our favourite detective DD Warren is injured and in extreme pain. She receives therapy from a woman who has a strange physical condition in that she can feel no pain herself. Adeline is the sister of a serial killer and the daughter of another and she becomes embroiled in DD's investigation following the appearance of another killer who appears to mimic the others. There are lots of plot strands here which weave together nicely into a coherent plot. What Adeline does near the end of the book stretches the boundaries of believability more than a little but it makes sense within the narrative of the book as a whole. I didn't find it easy to guess the killer nor to work out what would happen next and I very much enjoyed the twists and turns of the storyline.
This is a book about powerful women (DD, Adeline and even the prison governor) but it is not a "woman's book" - it is a great crime/suspense novel which is quite graphic in its descriptions of the crimes and thus not for the very squeamish. I never felt, however, that the author was revelling in the violence but rather displaying it as a destructive force. I was also pleased that, although the author had obviously done a considerable amount of research, the technical details of the injury which DD has and the condition suffered by Adeline and their consequences were nicely embedded in the story.
There are lots of themes here - the role of pain, nature versus nurture, the destructiveness of rage, the consequences to many of the actions of one, the bonds within families - and the author doesn't give us any real answers to any of this but poses many questions. The themes are there and they make you think, but overall what you will remember is that this is a gripping and clever story.