Constant sense of dread, instantly and utterly gripping. The crime scene is gripping, horrifying, and heartbreaking with attention to detail that would rival any forensic specialist. The characterizations are so rich and vivid that the reading is present and immersed in the events and the lives of the characters. No character is too minor to be fully developed. The mood is broody and atmospheric throughout, always consistent. Droll sense of humor – cop humor – is a welcome element. Realistic, believable dialogue. Genuine camaraderie. Sensitive, insightful portrayal of mental illness and its effects on family. Honest, complex, flawed characters. Smoke and mirrors tactic played to perfection will likely fool the most astute reader at least for a time. Another treasure by French whose books I recommend at every opportunity.
“What waits for you there is the crime itself, every screaming second of it, trapped and held for you in amber” (p. 18).
“Nothing can trip you up like compassion” (p. 35).
“…raw grief smells like ripped leaves and splintered branches, a jagged green shriek” (p. 44).
“Every way I turned felt like crosshairs on my forehead” (p. 83).
“It was a bad week to have to trust in either luck or humanity, but if I’m backed into that corner, I’ll go with luck every time” (p. 122).
“The triers are the ones that snap, when trying doesn’t do any good” (p. 202).
bog-standard – ordinary, average, run-of-the-mill
gaff – (British slang) a person’s home, usually a flat
banjax – to utterly defeat, clobber