Most of DI Sophie Whitton’s life is about her job. She’s working hard to stop a serial killer who leaves dolls close to the bodies they mutilate, which has earned them the nickname of Doll Maker. When she manages to go home, Sophie doesn’t want to share all the awful things she sees during the day with her partner Yvonne. Yvonne wants more from her lover and doesn’t understand her need to withdraw into herself. Their relationship is failing but neither wants to be the one to call it. So when Sophie meets Rachel, a nurse at the local hospital, she tries to ignore the attraction.
I think I’ve said it before, I’m bored with thrillers and mysteries giving too much space to what serial killers and psychopaths think. I do not want to be in their mind. I also often find it a lazy way for authors to set the story, as it’s been done so often for decades now. The other thing I’ve had enough of is inflicting pain and torture on women.
That said, Claire Highton-Stevenson managed to make it feel mostly new and while she had to describe some of what the victims had to go through, she gave just enough details but not so many that I had to stop listening. And the narration was really good, with a languid pace that worked very well with the atmosphere. Also, while some of the twists were a little predictable, most were not, and I thought the author did an excellent job at weaving the story.
As for the romance, as much as I don’t like the idea of characters cheating on their partners, it worked. The chemistry between Sophie and Rachel is great, and everything that happens is understandable at that point in Sophie’s life. Sophie is a very complex and layered character, and Rachel is the right person at the right time. I liked the secondary cast too, especially Sophie’s partner and his wife.