Always a pleasure to sit down with my guy, Paolo Sterling, even when he’s off his game.
The former DI is now Detective Chief Inspector but doesn’t feel any of the pride and sense of accomplishment such promotions usually bring. It’s been six months since his protegee and good friend, DS Dave Johnson was murdered, and Paolo’s grief is as painful as the day it happened. And it doesn’t help that the man he holds most responsible for bullying and goading Dave, DC Jack Cummings, has a target on Paolo’s back.
However, what I love most about the DCI is he trudges on.
The drug overdose of one young woman and the murder of another who believed she was being stalked appear unconnected. But when another woman goes missing, Sterling and his team find links to all three women, a local nightclub, a popular gym… and far too many shady, drug-dealing characters who could all be killers.
When Jack is brutally attacked while on a voluntary stakeout of the nightclub, Paolo’s stress and guilt are only deepened. He detested the man but he didn’t wish that kind of harm on him.
The assault on Jack—and the misguided rantings of his boss—are gut punches to the DCI that serve to spur him on to resolve the investigations… and find the missing woman alive.
Lorraine Mace does a superb job of taking us inside the mind of a sociopath twisted by his upbringing. Raised by his equally psychotic and abusive grandfather whom he hates and the submissive grandmother he adores, this murderer never stood a chance. He’s almost a sympathetic character, except for the kidnapping and killing part.
CC—DS Cathy Connors—is a standout as Paolo’s new “partner.” She knows Dave’s death is with her boss daily, and she knows when to push and when to give him space while still being a stellar investigator.
Lydia, the ex-wife is still around. Grrr. She was a coworker of the murdered woman and the reason Paolo got involved even before they knew she’d been killed. The murder heightens their concern for their daughter, Katy, off volunteering in remote villages in Africa and out of touch for weeks at a time. However, even without all the arguing and blame-placing, I’m still not a Lydia-fan. Meh.
Rebounding from his assault, Jack’s continued lies and machinations only serve to tighten the noose around Sterling’s neck and threaten his job. But the pragmatic detective has grown weary of being the whipping boy and does what he does best… solve cases. As I said, he trudges on, but with a lighter step and his confidence back in place.
This is another great installment in the Sterling series that delivers!
IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.
A brutal murder . . .
Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.
An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.
At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.
A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36WOjDg