In 2002, five women are discovered barbarously murdered in Sierra Leone. Reuters Africa correspondent Connie Burns suspects a British mercenary: a man who seems to turn up in every war-torn corner of Africa, whose reputation for violence and brutality is well-founded and widely known. Connies suspicions that hes using the chaos of war to act out sadistic, misogynistic fantasies fall on deaf earsbut shes determined to expose him and his secret. The consequences are devastating.
Connie encounters the man again in Baghdad, but almost immediately shes taken hostage. Released after three desperate days, terrified and traumatized by the experiencefearing that she will never again be the person she once wasConnie retreats to England. She is bent on protecting herself by withholding information about her abduction. But secluded in a remote rented housewhere the jealously guarded history of her landladys family seems to mirror her own fearsshe knows that it is only a matter of time before her nightmares become real . . . .
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"Starred review. Walters delivers an intense, engrossingly structured tour de force about survival and "the secret of freedom, courage." - Publishers Weekly.
"Although the gothic overlay seems a bit artificial, Walters really knows how to write convincing, ever-escalating psychological suspense. " - Booklist.
"Genteel and horrifying as ever, with a particularly unsparing examination of the rage of traumatized victims." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Minette Walters is the author of several novels, two novellas, and a number of short stories.
Her first novel, The Ice House, was published in 1992. It took two and a half years to write and was rejected by numerous publishing houses until Maria Rejt, Macmillan Publishers, bought it for £1250. Within four months, it had won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey award for best first novel and had been snapped up by 11 foreign publishers. With her next two books, The Sculptress and The Scold's Bridle, Walters won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award and the CWA Gold Dagger respectively, giving her a unique treble. She was the first crime/thriller writer to win three major prizes with her first three books.
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