Following his wife's betrayal and his own retirement from the force, Detective Inspector Elder has fled as far as it is possible to go in England without running out of land. But he is haunted by the past and in particular by the unsolved disappearance of sixteen-year-old Susan Blacklock back in 1988. Shane Donald and Alan McKeirnan, convicted just one year later for the brutal rape and murder of a young girl, remain the prime suspects in Elder's mind, and when he hears of Shane's early release from prison, he feels compelled to leave his safe haven and to revisit the scene of the crime. When Shane then breaks parole and disappears and yet another young girl is horribly murdered, Elder's involvement becomes crucial. McKeirnan seems to still wield a frightening power over his ex partner even from his prison cell, and the new murder bears the all hallmarks of Lucy Padmore's earlier death. An increasingly desperate Elder is already running out of time when his own daughter goes missing and a taunting postcard reveals that she is in the hands of the killer.
John Harvey is the author of the richly praised Charlie Resnick novels, the first of which Lonely Hearts was named by The Times as one of the '100 Best Crime Novels of the Century'. He is also a poet, dramatist and broadcaster. For more about John Harvey visit www.mellotone.co.uk. John has recently moved to Cornwall with his partner and their young daughter.