A Special Crime Unit novel
A fiery cross outside a blazing house. A woman dead, her son burned. Prime suspect: the babysitter.
Police investigations can be heavy-handed, and it's the job of DCI Sophia Beadle and her elite team to tackle cases that require a softer approach.
A grotesque arson attack, more reminiscent of 1960s Mississippi than contemporary London, is just one of the things on their plate. 16-year-old Debbie Clarke is the least likely suspect imaginable - until they discover her father's neo-Nazi past. Along with the usual caseload of sex crimes, hate crimes and vulnerable youths, there's also a serial rapist with a predilection for assaulting his victims with their most treasured possessions.
All of this they must juggle with their own preoccupations. DC Nina Tyminski discovers that her husband has been unfaithful in the most hurtful way; PC Larissa 'Lucky' Stephenson has a terrible and possibly career-ending secret. These troubles and others open faultlines within the team - and unless they fix the cracks, the fallout could cost one officer her life.