Ten year old boys are going missing. So far one has been found with his throat cut, drained of blood and dumped on the bank of the Thames in the middle of busy London. Then twins go missing. They, too, are found on the bank of the river near Tower Bridge, also bloodless. There are no clues for DI Dana Tulloch and DS Mark Joesbury to discover other than a boot print. Who is doing this? Why is there no blood left in the bodies? One boy has disappeared but not been found. Where is he? Will there be more murders? Does the draining of their blood indicate that a vampire is on the loose in London?
Ten year old Barney Roberts and his friends meet in the grounds of the Community Centre to use the skateboard park. The grounds are locked at night but they have a way of getting in. The outside of the buildings have been transformed by murals depicting scenes from a famous children`s story to brighten up the old building so it is a friendly place to go, even after dark. Barney does not have a mother and his father is out late twice a week, so he has some illicit freedom. He is also a very sensitive lad who can find lost items which no-one else can, like his friend Hattie`s tiny gold earring.
He and his friends are following the comments about the murders on Facebook, in particular those of a blogger calling himself Peter Sweep, who seems to know instantly when something new happens. DI Tulloch and her team badly need a breakthough. Living next door to Barney is DC Lacey Flint, currently on sick leave after a particularly difficult case. She becomes entangled in the investigation when Barney asks her for help to find his mother. Events speed up alarmingly when the son of DS Joesbury goes missing – will they find him in time?
This is a turbulent tale which, while portraying the desperation with which the MIT team search for the killer, also investigates the psychology of the main characters and their interaction with one another, making this an absorbing read. I could not tear myself away until I had discovered the perpetrator! S.J. Bolton has written yet another top-class crime novel – I can sum it up in one word - outstanding.
Review by Liz.
Thanks Liz and thank you to Transworld for sending us a copy to review.