UK & Canada Simon & Schuster (July 2011, 415 pages)
Taboo is a fast-paced thriller in the vein of Karin Slaughter and Jeffery Deaver, with strong lead characters, a heavy emphasis on forensic investigative elements and aimed at male and female crime readers and fans of the hit TV series CSI.
This book is the first in a planned series of novels featuring American-born Reilly Steel – a Quantico trained forensic investigator who comes to Dublin to head up the GFU, a new state-of-the-art Irish crime lab – and Chris Marshall, a city homicide detective who is hiding a mysterious illness.
Reilly and Marshall are brought together in the hunt for a serial killer with a gruesome modus operandi – before death, he tortures his victims by forcing them to violate society’s most deep-seated cultural taboos.
To assist with the case, they enlist the help of FBI behaviourist Daniel Forrest. In the hope of anticipating the killer’s next move and trying to understand his motivation, the investigating team are forced to cast aside their own preconceptions about taboos, and learn everything they can about what society considers most forbidden.
What horrifying method will the killer choose next? And what point – if any – is he trying to make?