Two girls are missing, abducted while waiting for their mother to collect them. The kidnappers immediately make contact and have a tasteless demand: the family who is willing to pay more gets the daughter back. D.I. Kim Stone has to investigate the case which is not completely new: a couple of months before, the same happened and only one girl returned to her family. The atmosphere gets more and more dense around the nervous parents when the first victims of the killer becomes is found, and then a second. The chances of seeing their daughters again alive are getting smaller day by day. And the pressure on the police is increasing.
Angela Marsons’ novel moves at a very fast pace. The chapters are short, the closer we get to the climax, the more the plot accelerates. The different locations alternate at a high speed and you get the impression that everything is happening at the same time. The story itself is interestingly constructed, I liked the idea not only of putting parents of a kidnapped child under hard pressure but playing with their friendship and increasing the pressure by the competition between the couples. This is really mean, but opens the chances for enthralling studies of the different characters. If the focus had been more on the parents and less on the police this could have been quite fascinating to read. I could not really bond with the protagonist, she is a bit antisocial which makes it difficult to feel some kind of compassion for her and her situation. I often rather pitied the parents who had to cope with somebody with only very few social skills.
The solution of the crime case could also not completely convince me. Quite early I had the impression that there must be some foul play, the question “who is the big boss?” was looming over the story and it made sense that this character is somewhere close to the investigation. I had other suspects and the motivation of this one, was, in my personal opinion, not strong enough to justify or rather explain such an evil crime.