There is some fantastic crime writing about today and M.K. Hill is adding to the cannon with this fantastic thriller while introducing a new detective to the crime thriller world. What makes this so good is that Hill’s writing is so good that it makes it a pure pleasure to read, and before you know it you are halfway through the book.

Twenty years ago, six children were taken but only five came back. It takes the abduction of three children today to find out the truth from back then. The place where the original six where held hostage became known as The Bad Place, and annually the surviving victims meet to hold a vigil and a meal together.

When a young girl is kidnapped in front of one of the victims, DI Sasha Dawson of Essex Police are put in charge of the case. Ironic in that twenty years ago Dawson, who had been a week into her career as a police officer when the original case broke, had been at The Bad Place. Dawson is sure that the key to finding Sammi, the kidnapped girl, is finding out the truth about the night, the kids had escaped and one of their number had been killed.

While trying to run a major case, Dawson’s own family is in meltdown, her husband seems to be depressed and not speaking to her or their children. Her mother decides to leave her father and move in with them. To top it all, her mother is accused of bullying and her husband punches the next door neighbour, which is streamed online.

As the case twenty years earlier starts to clash with her current case and another child goes missing, Dawson knows she has to solve this once and for all. Recognising that it is a race against time her and the team around her leave no stone unturned and no question unanswered.

This really is a fantastic book, with a great new hero, who shows that she is human. It will be great to see how Sasha Dawson will develop in the future, and the cases come before her in Essex.

Paul Diggett 4/4

The Bad Place by M.K. Hill
Head of Zeus 9781788548267 hbk Sep 2019