When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private. But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women, she quickly discovers how wrong she is....
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When a man dies in a gas explosion, the police suspect arson, and the Murder Investigation Team is called in to investigate. But the case takes on a new and terrible twist when a local villain is viciously attacked. As the police enquiries lead from the expensive Harchester Hill estate to the local brothel, a witness dies in a hit-and-run. Was it coincidence - or cold-blooded murder? The Murder Investigation Team has problems of its own – and so does Geraldine Steel. A shocking revelation threatens her peace of mind as the investigation races towards its dramatic climax.
When the corpse of Abigail Kirby is discovered, the police are shocked to learn that the victim's tongue was cut out while she lay dying. Then, shortly after coming forward, a witness to the crime is blinded and murdered. Abigail Kirby's teenage daughter runs away from home to meet a girl who befriended her online; too late, she realises she has made a dreadful mistake - a mistake that may cost her life.
Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel relocates to London to take on another harrowing murder investigation. The bodies of two black girls are discovered in quick succession in North London; two teeth from each victim extracted after death. One of the girls worked in a massage parlour and suspicion falls on a client of hers, a known racist, but while the police flounder, the killer takes another girl home to his attic, where he keeps his victims chained up while he shows them his 'collection'.