And the other plot continues the will she - won't she relationship between Robin and her fiance Matthew. The only thing Robin wants to do is work for Strike (how much does she fancy him?) She fears losing her job; when Strike puts her on the boring stuff to try and keep her safe from the predator stalking the streets she is afraid he will see her as more trouble than she's worth. But Matthew just wants her in a safer (and better paying) job. And he thinks she fancies Strike. Or Strike fancies her. Can this pair navigate the shoals and shallows of engagement all the way to the hymeneal altar?
In counterpoint we are given moments from the point of view of the perpetrator as he roams London, stalking Robin whom he wants to kill. And when he is frustrated he has the urge to find another woman, stab her to death in a sexual orgy of penetrative violence, and cut pieces from her as his trophies. And as he follows Robin the tension builds. Will she be his next victim?
Very visceral with some extraordinary scenes. Very, very dark.
Previous Strike books:
Some of my favourite lines:
- "Mist lay in thick, soft layers like cobweb over the treetops." (p 198)
- "He looked out upon the ghostly park and was transfixed by the effect of the rising sun on leafy branches arising from the sea of vapour. You could find beauty nearly anywhere if you stopped to look for it, but the battle to get through the days made it easy to forget that this totally cost-free luxury existed." (p 198)
- "The dirty places of the capital where criminality, poverty and violence bred like bacteria" (p 248)
February 2018; 572 pages