Top critical review
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An absorbing read
on 20 March 2010
A good 'whodunnit' from an experienced writer, with a plot that keeps you turning the pages. Based in Boston - the American one - it tells a strange story of a young woman whose father was a professor at MIT, but from childhood she underwent a continuous series of sudden house moves, her father driving them to city after city every year or two, every time under a new assumed identity. With her parents dead, she never discovered why, until in adult life, she returns to Boston and becomes involved in a police investigation into a horrific discovery of six children's bodies, mummified in an underground hideout in the grounds of an abandoned mental hospital. The other side of the story concerns a detective on the investigating squad, and the labours of the police team to track down a thirty year-old serial rapist and killer.
Well-written and carefully structured, the book is well worth reading and is not too voyeuristic about the sordid details, unlike so many other writers who revel in sadistic shock tactics.
My only mild reservation is that perhaps towards the end, the author gets a little too complicated with the permutations of possible perpetrators, and introduces a new candidate a bit late in the story, but it does not detract from an absorbing read.
Bernard Knight ex Home Office Pathologist and author of the highly acclaimed Crowner John series