What’s it about?
Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…
When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?
As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.
And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most…
This is the second novel in the DS Imogen Grey detective series. I didn’t read the first novel, The Teacher, but this can be read as a standalone without a problem. I did think that I missed an important piece of information at first when I learned that unnerving things happened in the past to Imogen, which resulted in her having big scars on her body. It was a mystery to me how she got those and I was under the assumption that this was a thread from the first novel but all of it is actually explained near the end of this novel through flashbacks and the author is actually working her way towards these events.
The story opens almost immediately with a gripping scene where a girl walks in on the body of her dead friend and from thereon the rollercoaster took off on high speed. The author weaves one BIG web with multiple plotlines running both in the present and the past. It was a little bit confusing at first when there was a time shift and Imogen suddenly had another partner called Sam. It’s only that he also appears in the present which was why I had to think hard which investigation I was following again. A bit confusing the first few times but the further into the story, the clearer both separate storylines were and it became easier to switch and understand the who’s who and what’s what.
The present storyline follows Imogen Grey and her partner Adrian Myles who are looking into the disappearance of a missing police officer. Sam Brown is the girl’s boyfriend and as I said, he was also Imogen’s old partner. Imogen definitely has issues with him but it’s a bit of a blind spot why she’s got it in for him. Something major must have happened two years ago that caused her to relocate but it’s a mystery what it is. The story becomes even more complex when it becomes obvious the present case is in some ways linked to the past. Even if I’d wish to do so, I couldn’t even set out the storylines because they’re so complex I can’t recount them in a clear and organised way. Let me just tell you that it’s all one big hot mess and there are some major reveals at the end. Oh and then there are also ‘just a few’ other threads: the missing girl’s inner thoughts (which scenes I grew to really enjoy because she tries to hold it together and I was rooting that they’d find her so bad in the end), the boy who is groomed by his father to follow in his footsteps in the past and his voice in the present, an attack on a family to get to their baby, an abduction of a child, and Adrian’s son’s request to look into his stepdad… If you’re wishing for a complex story that is fascinating on its own but even better when all of it comes together in the end, then this one’s definitely recommended.
I enjoyed the convoluted story and twists but I did feel it was sometimes a bit all over the place and I really had to keep paying attention every single minute of the story. This is not a story to sit back and relax, no you have to be wide awake not to miss a thing. I’m not really used to it being this ‘much’ so this certainly made a big change. The only other thing that I want to remark and which might have bothered me just a teensy bit was that I didn’t really feel Imogen’s instant attraction to one of the bad guys and I thought her reaction towards him when provoked wasn’t ok. I felt better at the end of the story about it but she wasn’t really acting very professionally in that instance and that made me like her just a bit less in that moment. I like a detective who I can look up to and who’s a rough diamond white pit but she has a dark side herself and discovering this came as a little shock to me.
To round it all up I can conclude that this was a ‘wild ride’ but I felt quite satisfied in the end!