I LOVED this book. I like to be gripped from the first page and since this one literally starts with a bang and you are straight into the action. The story starts with a rush hour explosion in central London, which is so well portrayed by Selman that I actually flinched while reading.
Ziba MacKenzie, our protagonist, is ex-special forces. Flawed, yes, prickly, yes, but also dedicated, clever and insightful. Her people skills are often lacking and yet she is now a psychologist by trade, profiling the criminal classes, and she knows her stuff. I loved this paradoxical part of her personality. It at once makes her believable and relatable.
This is a serial killer book, and Ziba finds herself investigating ‘The Lacerator’ who has been dormant for 25 years. I don’t want to give anything away, but some of the chapters are from the Killer’s point-of-view. They are historical and current, and they are so excellently written I had to pause. We learn a lot about the ‘why done it’ aspect of ‘The Lacerator’ and some of the historical chapters are absolutely heartbreaking.
I’m always interested in books that delve into the psychology of criminality – I think we all are – and this book does it really, really well. Selman has a firm grasp of what makes people tick, and obviously a lot of compassion for humanity at it’s best and it’s worst.
This isn’t a book for the faint hearted, not because it’s graphic, it’s really not, but it is haunting. It deals with some uncomfortable issues and in some depth too. It is both a page turner – with that pulse racing need to get to the end – and an unsettling portrayal of the human mind gone wrong. I was thinking about it for days after I put it down. I cannot recommend it enough, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.