Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
One boy is dead. A killer is free. Who is next?
Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel is first on the scene as a stolen car crashes on a misty, wet Manchester morning. The driver is dead, but the biggest shock awaits her when she discovers the body of a child wrapped in plastic in the boot of the car.
As Jessica struggles to discover the identity of the driver, a thin trail leads her first to a set of clothes buried in the woods and then to a list of children’s names abandoned in an allotment shed.
With the winter chill setting in and parents looking for answers, Jessica must find out who has been watching local children, and how this connects to a case that has been unsolved for 14 years.
This is the fourth book in Wilkinson’s Jessica Daniel series and though you don’t have to read them in order, I would recommend that you do. There is quite a bit of character development and backstory by this point and I think that will have a richer experience if you start with book one.
When the book begins, Jess witnesses a car crash and is the first officer on the scene. One of the drivers is dead, and when she does a cursory search of his car, she discovers the body of a young boy. He’s been missing for a few weeks and she instantly recognizes him. Unfortunately she doesn’t have any idea who the driver is, and then when there are possible links to a historical similar case, she struggles to find a solid connection.
By this point, reading about Jess and crew is like catching up with old friends. Jess is still hot headed and temperamental, and she’s still working alongside Dave. She’s gotten even more daring and takes some series risks in this book in order to find answers, I love how gutsy she is. All the previous cast of characters make appearances here and all show signs of personal growth and depth that I loved. This was my favorite aspect of the book as I wasn’t quite as engaged with the plot as I would’ve liked.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a different type of case for Jess and team because usually they have a ton of leads to chase up, but this time there is virtually nothing. She’s constantly grasping at the most tenuous straws to try and figure out what’s going on, and honestly the lack of action left me slightly bored and wanting more.
Overall, this was an average read for me, as much as I loved checking in with Jess, if it was the first book I had picked up in the series I doubt I would’ve been impressed. I’m still a fan of Wilkinson’s writing style, the city of Manchester was experiencing a huge amount of rain and that added something dark and sinister to the novel. I’ll definitely be continuing on with this series, I’m just hoping for some more action and excitement in book five.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy.