Continuing this series by Graham Masterton, I had high hopes it would be just as exciting as the previous two. Masterton builds on this police procedural collection set in rural Ireland, exploring a new set of graphic murders. While some may shy away from this, series fans know full well that Masterton has a reason for his detailed descriptions and things are revealed in a timely manner. A chilling series with themes sure to entertain the reader throughout, Masterton proves his worth yet again.
Detective Sergeant Katie Macguire has been working hard in Cork to keep the area safe and ensure no one breaks the law. She’s been synthesising a recent decision about her personal life which could impact her significant and pave the way for success. All this while a new senior official at the office has targeting DS Macguire in an effort to clean up the ranks.
After a man is found murdered with his hands removed, DS Macguire and her team begin their thorough exploration of what could have happened. Background information leads to the discovering that the victim was involved in the sex trade and there are whispers that he’s imported a number of girls from outside the country, many below the age of consent. DS Macguire cannot help but wonder if there is more to the story than meets the eye.
All the while, a woman lurks in the background, luring men into compromising situations before she strikes, wishing to send a message. She’s happy to explain to her victims that they are being targeted for preying on young girls, who are promised lavish lives only to send the young girls into a world of depraved sexual acts that leave them broken. Scared and yet defiant, these men try to justify their lifestyles before being given a hard choice; lose their left hand or manhood.
When more men turn up dead with similar hand injuries, DS Macguire works with her team to sift through the many men in Cork who are known for running girls on the streets or in private homes. One known well to the political elite for trying to show that the sex trade can be a legitimate means of work is sent a message that he will not soon forget. It’s time for the authorities to strike, but DS Macguire is distracted by some issues at home, which could leave her in a shambles. Masterton does it again with his strong writing, sure to impress series fans many times over.
Graham Masterton has developed this series in such a way that the reader cannot help but want to learn more. This is the second of his series that I have been reading, both of which I would tag as ‘addictive’ without hesitation. Masterton creates numerous plots that keep the reader hooked, sometimes for their graphic nature, while using a strong protagonist to push great underlying themes. I like how things series has been progressing and am ready to reach for the next, hoping to find some of the same ingredients.
Masterton has a strong storytelling ability that makes the reader take note from the opening pages. His narrative flow provides a smooth reading experience, while offering graphic murders to shock the reader to the core. While this may turn some readers away from reading this series, the discussions are quick and to the point, but are also with reason, providing rationale for the retributions. There are strong characters throughout the novel, each developing at their own pace. DS Katie Macguire receives more character development and personal backstory, essential for the protagonist’s relationship with the reader. The plot twists were plentiful in the book, as well as themes related to sex work and the trafficking of young girls. I devoured this book and remain eager to see how Cork will progress under the watchful eye of DS Katie Macguire. Graham Masterton shows his mettle once more and readers ought to take notice!
Kudos, Mr. Masterton, for another stellar story. Bring on more!