He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough...
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.
The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.
As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.
But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?
‘I was absolutely gripped… A sophisticated and gripping read that will send your heart racing… A thrilling and twisted read.’ By the Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars
‘Ohh I really enjoyed this book so much, the plot was exceptionally good, very gruesome and totally addictive.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Every now and again something stunning comes along, and now is that time… Not only is the story original, and compelling, but the main character is one of the best fictional Police Detectives I’ve had the pleasure to be introduced to… A great book, just stunning.’ Nigel Adams Bookworm, 5 stars
‘Packed a punch of thrills and chills… [A] remarkable read that captures the mind in a vice grip and refuses to let it go.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘[It] thunders towards a thrilling climax.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘Twisted and gruesome. And brilliant… Hugely atmospheric… The action is full on, and the story is full of tension – my nerves were shredded!’ Suze Reviews
‘Oh my, what a chillingly disturbing first case… Just when you think you may have it figured out… You don’t… If you like a good police procedural serial killer mystery…. this is the one for you.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘A very, very cleverly written novel which grows in intensity… A psychologically intelligent, gripping and complex start to a brand-new series.’ The Writing Garnet
‘Wow is all I can say… A twisty, turny, fast-paced thriller.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would! Absolutely brilliant story and one of my favourites this year.’ Booking Good Read, 5 stars
One of the things that have always fascinated me is ruined buildings. The bigger the better so far as I’m concerned. I’m not talking about ones that are no more than piles of rubble, but the ones whose walls still stand. My background as a joiner and builder, sees me imagining the buildings as they once stood, has my eyes picking out where floor joists once rested and how the roofs looked before they collapsed. Stately homes are the greatest of these finds and my twisted imagination has long been looking for a way that I could use such properties in one of my stories.
Enter DC Beth Young, I had her right at the start of her career in the Force Major Investigation Team, and threw her in at the deep end with a case centred on bodies found in the cellars of derelict stately homes.
Because Beth’s universe is Cumbria and The Lake District, I had some wonderful research trips exploring these stately homes and driving around the beautiful area that is The Lake District.
When it came to the kill methods, I had to do quite a bit of research which mainly constituted of me messaging ever more gruesome questions to a doctor friend who is generous enough to advise me on all things medical. Needless to say, the content of some of these messages would make Hannibal Lector’s toes curl.
I had great fun writing a female lead for the first time and the more I wrote about Beth, the more real she became to me. I did everything I could to make her a smart, sassy young woman who knew her own mind, yet still faced the same insecurities so many of us deal with on a daily basis.
Around Beth is a team of other cops, each more experienced than she is and each with their own troubles to face. The more Beth became immersed in the case and their worlds, the more she grew as a person and as a copper.
The supporting characters I had the most fun writing were Dr Hewson, the twinkle-eyed pathologist and Beth’s boss, the inimitable DI Zoe O’Dowd. With O’Dowd in particular, I had to take especial care as she was the kind of no-nonsense, cynical copper who was wont to steal Beth’s limelight if I took my eye off her for the briefest moment.
To further round out Beth’s character, I gave her something of a troubled backstory that would let me add a series arc to the novels as I’ve always enjoyed series that have an overarching story arc that takes several books to complete.