I have read and loved this author’s DCI Ryan series and was pleased to find she had another series I hadn’t tried. I also liked that this protagonist isn’t a member of the police, but works with them as a profiler. He has a horrendous background you’ll learn about as you move through the book and you’ll wonder how he is as sane as he is. He’s an excellent character and I look forward to seeing his growth.
A few years ago Dr. Alexander (Alex) Gregory along with his friend and mentor Professor William Douglas started a Criminal Profiler unit. They were quite successful until a case went wrong and Scotland Yard threw them under the bus. They disbanded the unit and Alex continued his work at Southmoor High Security Psychiatric Hospital.
Alex had no interest in criminal profiling again, but William talked him into taking a case in Ireland. The mayor of Ballyfinny, County Mayo, Ireland had contacted William asking for help with a bizarre murder in her small community. The mayor and everyone in the community are convinced the perpetrator is an outsider, but they have no clues and no idea how to find any. They need a profile of the murderer so they will have some idea of where/how to begin looking.
Alex isn’t sure the perpetrator is an outsider – but he’s keeping an open mind. Both of the Irish Garda who are working the case are the sons of the mayor. Neither of them welcomes Alex but will work with him to please their mother. With the Garda eyes turned outward – and Alex’s turned inward – it is going to be a long slog to find the perpetrator. Who could it be?
When another unthinkable murder occurs, everyone is up-in-arms wanting a solution. The victims, are both loving, caring, and giving mothers who have been posed in scenes that mean something only to the perpetrator. Who could do such heinous things? Surely not someone who lives in their lovely, quiet community.
I enjoyed this book, but I am not as captivated by Alex as I have been by DCI Ryan. It is nice that Alex and Ryan are friends and Ryan gets a couple of honorable mentions in the story. I will skip a couple of books and try a later one before I decide if I’m interested in continuing with the series. It is well-written, the characters are engrossing, and the mystery is almost insoluble.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.