A small child is kidnapped apparently under her mother's nose. A burglar is going round piling up furniture against his victims' front doors so that he can make a quick getaway through the back door if the owners of the property suddenly arrive home. Lydia has just moved into a newly converted flat in what was a mental hospital in the historic city of Eborby and is troubled by nightmares which feature a malevolent clock. DI Joe Plantagenet and his boss, DCI Emily Thwaite are trying to keep a lid on the crime rate.
If you add into the mix a university researcher who has found something evil and a man with an obsession with a serial killer the result is spine chilling and a frightening read. This is a fast paced and well written story with more than a hint of supernatural happenings which make the hairs on the back of the reader's neck stand on end. I got close to the end of the book quite late last night but made myself leave the last three chapters until daylight!
I like the police characters in this series - Joe, with his troubled past and his current loneliness, Emily trying to juggle a hectic job and family life; I also like George Merryweather - the clergyman with the job of dealing with supernatural happenings. The background of the ancient city with its narrow streets and chequered past gives an added frisson to this series which mixes ghostly happenings with crime which is all too real and substantial.