When Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house to find the door open, dinner still on the table, and the family of four missing, she turns to investigator David Raker, her former boyfriend, after the police turn up no leads. Raker’s investigation of the case leads him from an abandoned English fishing village to the casinos of Las Vegas, where he uncovers secrets some powerful people would prefer remain unearthed.
Raker is dealing with a number of his own demons, including the fact that he has not recovered from losing his wife to cancer, or from a stab wound that caused his heart to stop for seven minutes in an incident that also resulted in the death of a fellow police officer. His ex-girlfriend Liz tells him, “You’re trying to plug holes in the world because you know what it’s like to lose someone, and you think it’s your job to stop anyone else suffering the same way.” While this makes him an extremely driven investigator, it also casts a shadow on any relationships that he tries to have, making the book’s title an apt description of Raker’s own tortured journey.
While it took a bit of time for the story to really get underway, once it got moving, I found it almost impossible to put down. Thinking that I had figured out the crux of the novel, I was feeling pretty smug—that is, until Weaver blindsided me with a plot twist that I never saw coming.
Weaver also does a good job of giving readers a sense of place, whether it’s in a loud, crowded casino bar in “the bulletproof city” of Las Vegas, or among the abandoned homes nestled within the eerie cliffside English village washed away by a rogue wave. When Raker does finally resolve the case, it isn’t the clean ending that you might expect—though with this writer, you should expect anything. The only thing that is not a surprise is that Weaver’s previous thrillers have been extremely popular in the UK; something that I expect will happen here with this first introduction of David Raker to American audiences.