Jack McEvoy who first made his appearance in The Scarecrow in 1996 and then in The Poet in 2009, has returned in a chiller thriller Fair Warning, based around DNA and the all to conceivable abuse of this science by those who inhabit the ‘dark web’ of the todays world.
McEvoy has a one night stand with Christina ‘Tina’ Portrero who turns up very dead, about twelve months after their night out together. As his name has been associated with hers, the LAPD Robbery Homicide division come looking for him, full of questions.
The fact that he is journalist who has covered the police beat for many years, before moving to his latest line of work, that of investigating and writing for the consumer watchdog website Fair Warning, has something to do with hostility the LAPD hold with and for him.
As the days then weeks pass, it looks more and more likely that he is being framed for not just Tina’s murder but that of several more victims that have been killed using the same, horrific style of murder; Atlanto-occipital dislocation or a snapped neck.
Naturally the first thing McEvoy does is begin a classic style investigation into every scrap of information he can garner regarding the death of Tina Portrero , discovering there appears to be a series of other deaths, using the same style which points towards a serial killer on the loose.
DNA evidence does not appear to be able to be used as the killer leaves no trace other than a dead woman, his particular calling card the style of death, and because of this the nickname is given to him of The Shrike. Who is the killer and why is there no DNA left at the scene of the crime consumes not just McEvoy but the also the LAPD as they race to try and find out who he is before he kills again.
McEvoy ends up working with former partner Rachael Waller and Fair Warning colleague Emily, but the further they delve into what is fast becoming something too terrible to contemplate, relationships are put to the test, friendships challenged, with the buying and selling of DNA on the dark web uncovered, which leads to lives, other than McEvoy’s, being put at risk.
As with all of Connolly’s thrillers there is a very vein of reality running through them all with Fair Warning no exception. The proof of this is the essence of the storyline, DNA selling, which could for all the everyday world knows, be a real and terrible truth which creates a storyline that will remain for a very, very long time.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|