Soho, Oct 2008, $25.00
Sundial maker Naomi Jenkins comes to the Spilling police station because she is panicking over the whereabouts of her forty years old lover Robert Haworth, a lorry driver. Every Thursday for the past year, they have met at the Rawndesley East Services Traveltel for a three hour tryst; the married with no kids Robert failed to show up for the first time; Naomi believes his wife Juliet harmed him.
Detective Sergeant Charlie Zailer and Detective Constable Simon Waterhouse have no time for a trivial side inquiry as they work on the case of a blatant serial rapist who charges admission to watch him live while he forces himself on career women. They take a haphazard look into the reported Haworth disappearance, but his wife convinces the police he is not missing. Realizing the cops are going to drop the case, Naomi claims Robert raped her three years earlier. Simon visits Robert’s home to question him re the allegation only to find him dying from knife wounds. Meanwhile as more victims surface Charlie gets involved with resort owner Graham Anguilley that keeps her mind off the case.
Loaded with brilliant twists and red herrings, the second Spilling English police procedural (see LITTLE FACES, not read by me) is a terrific tale that focuses on the victims and culprits of violent crimes as the investigation serves as a mechanism for a deep look at the symbiotic nature of violence; and not just crime. Ironically love can turn into a bullying “sibling” relationship between a victim and their perpetrator. Fans will appreciate this strong insightful thriller filled with spins into the psyche of people.