UK & Comm Simon & Schuster (July 2012)
The murders are as puzzling as they are gruesome.
When an ex-cop is frozen to death in a bath of ice at a disused meatpacking plant, the Dublin police conclude it may be one of the man’s past collars taking revenge.
Shortly afterwards, a tabloid journalist is found drowned in his own septic tank, buried up to the neck in excrement. Opinionated and controversial, the reporter had many enemies, but why would someone go to such elaborate lengths to exact revenge?
Both crime scenes are a forensic investigator’s worst nightmare. Awkward, messy and deeply compromised, the location or victims yield little in the way of usable evidence, and Reilly Steel quickly discovers that she may be dealing with a killer who knows all about crime scene investigation. Any trace that might have existed at either scene would have been cleverly obliterated by the impossible conditions.
The police are just as frustrated by the crimes’ impenetrable nature, and it’s only when a third murder occurs - equally graphic and elaborate in its execution - that the investigators begin to wonder if the same person might be responsible.
And they soon discover that this particular killer is using a very specific blueprint for his crimes: Dante’s Inferno, a. classical text that speaks of only the very worst kinds of punishment.
Who is the killer’s next victim? And why has he cast himself in the role of Dante’s creation Minos, judging the damned to horrifying fates with a hellish form of retribution?