A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.
But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?
When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?
Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.
Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.
As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.
Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.
Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.
When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit.
This was a really gripping crime thriller, I genuinely had no idea who the murderer was, it was such a clever and complex case, spanning years and across the UK and France.
Every scrap of evidence Stirling and his team gathered eventually builds to a shocking, compelling and ultimately tragic case (and I don’t mean the victims, it’s hard to have a lot of sympathy for them).
Stirling almost gets distracted from the case by ice cold NCA agent Novak, but manages to see it through to it’s conclusion. Racing against time to unravel the mysterious ‘V’ behind the murders and the brooches left at each scene.
The author’s real life experience and knowledge add an air of authenticity to the proceedings and the neverending meetings and briefings Stirling has to undertake while trying to steer his team and occasionally get some sleep! This is what it’s really like on the front line.
Absolutely cracking read, the pace never lets up and as more bodies turn up, the web gets more tangled and complicated, brilliantly delivered.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.