Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. Read more...
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Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. A respected doctor, a well-heeled housewife, a young male prostitute . . . they could not be more different. All they have in common is a history of addiction. But when one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in that circle is responsible. The investigation is hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these individuals and their therapist together, which makes things difficult for Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner, a woman who can appreciate the desire to keep personal matters private. If she is to find the killer, she will need to use less obvious means. The question is: What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when secrets, lies, and denial are second nature to all of your suspects?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
In this solid standalone from Billingham (Rush of Blood), London therapist Tony De Silva, a recovering drug addict, leads an often tense weekly session with five clients whose only connection is a history of substance abuse. When the body of recovering heroin addict Heather Finlay is found in her flat weeks after her murder, Det. Insp. Nicola Tanner takes on the case. Tanner—perhaps a less compelling but no less competent copper than the author’s series lead, Tom Thorne—learns that Finlay was last seen after an incendiary group meeting and immediately suspects that De Silva’s group is linked to the murder, but she’s stymied by uncooperative group members such as anesthetist Robin Joffe, who wants to keep his past drug use hidden at work, and jilted housewife Diana Knight, who now shops instead of drinking. Shifting between past group sessions and Tanner’s present-day investigation, Billingham builds a complex plot that is as much a whodunit as it is an examination of addiction and the lies people tell themselves to survive. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (June)