DI Patrick Lennon and his partner, DS Carmella Masielllo, were first introduced to readers in FROM THE CRADLE. Returned now, together again, they tackle a case that could be taken from today's headlines. When the pair is called to a murder scene, they find that the victim is a teen-aged girl -- tortured and strangled in a hotel room. When a second girl is found similarly killed, the detectives find a connection -- both were massive fans of a popular boy band, OnTarget, and spent most of their lives on social media and forums discussing the members and their obsession. The investigation takes Lennon and Masiello into a storm of rivalry and new heights of fandom -- and what others will do to protect and nurture ANY connection to their much-loved band.
This novel is a commentary on social media and its effects on impressionable teenagers, as well as a sad reflection of how easily an insecure girl can be affected by what goes on online. Just how far will someone go to protect a reputation or to seek revenge for any slight -- real or imagined? Not only do Lennon and Massiello and their colleagues work on the case, they are also dealing with other personal issues and complications introduced in the first book. It's a solid police procedural with characters who are developing and changing through their interactions with each other and with the discoveries made in the case. I would say that it is important to read the first book featuring this team before this one.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced thriller and look forward to more novels written by this author team and fans won't want to miss other books they've written. Told in multiple points of view, the scenes shift seamlessly as the reader follows the detectives toward the satisfactory conclusion. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the e-book ARC to review.