""Matilda Darke is a very well-drawn character with strengths that make her a convincing DI..." "
The book opens with Darke's close friend Adele, going on a date via an internet site and meeting Brian, a man with whom she feels a real connection. But Brian has a secret – he is a sex offender who served time in prison and is on the sex offenders' register. Brian is found hanged the next day. At first, the police are unable to account for his death, but as the body count mounts, it becomes clear that there is a vigilante killer at work who believes he is administering justice to his victims.
Matilda Darke and her team take on the case. Matilda becomes the focus of intense publicity as the case develops. She is already struggling with new members of her team, self-doubt, her unresolved grief and guilt over the death of her husband, and guilt over a case where, through decisions she made, she failed to find a young boy. Her stability is in jeopardy as the killer starts targeting her by direct communication both with her and with local media. An ambitious young reporter pursues the case single-mindedly, using the killer's supposed connection with Matilda to produce sensational headlines that hit the front pages both locally, and eventually, nationally. The narrative is complex – those readers who like twists and turns will appreciate this as Matilda and her team pursue, and are constantly out-thought by, this very dangerous killer. It soon becomes clear he must be getting information from a source within the police force.