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Publisher's Summary

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith is days away from the end of his sick leave after a case that almost cost him his life when he gets a call from an old friend. His friend has been arrested for the murder of a student. He wants Smith to investigate the murder and prove his innocence. Smith is persuaded return to work. The student was killed with a bread knife. Ladybirds were scattered on his dead body.

When another man is found dead with ladybirds on his body, Smith enlists the help of an insect doctor, the enigmatic Dr. Karen Wood, to try and understand the significance of the ladybirds. As Smith gets drawn closer to this mysterious woman and more and more men wind up dead with ladybirds on their bodies, Smith quickly realizes that Dr. Wood is not who she seems to be.

Smith and his team unearth a terrible secret from 20 years earlier; somebody wants justice and, as more and more men die, Smith realizes he is running out of time to find out who.

©2016 Stewart Giles (P)2016 Stewart Giles

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  • Simon
  • 09-13-18

Brilliant 5 star audio book

This is book 3 in the series, and although it can be read as a standalone due to being drip fed the information about the previous two books, I would highly recommend reading books 1 and 2 first so you get to know DS Smith’s back story and what he has gone through over the last couple of years.

This book follows on about 6 weeks after book 2 with Smtih on sick leave after what happened to his girlfriend at the end of Boomerang.

He is deciding what to do with his life when he gets a phone call from the Ghoul, his friend in forensics who has been arrested for the murder of one of his tenants. This convinces Smith that he is better off staying in the police force so he can investigate the murder.

The only strange thing about the murder is that the body had dead ladybirds scattered around it.

Shortly after this murder another one occurs with the same MO and another couple shortly afterwards, but nothing appears to link any of the people.

In order to investigate this further they enlist the help of an entomologist they find online called Dr Karen Wood, who hits it off with Smith instantly, even turning up at his house one morning with breakfast.

DC Witton doesn’t trust her and warns Smith to be wary of her. He ignores her and puts it down to jealousy, but Witton’s instincts are proved correct as we find out Dr Wood isn’t what or who she appears to be.

The book is a brilliant story, which kept me guessing all the way through as to the link between the victims and also who the killer was and why they were using ladybirds at the scene.