Wow, that was unexpected!
When I read the synopsis for this book I was immediately intrigued – a strange man turns up at a police station repeatedly saying nothing but “I killed them all!” and handing over a list of four names. But as yet, there are no reported suspicious deaths…(Don’t worry, this review is spoiler-free!)
The main character, Michael, is a police officer on the case who’s just returned to duty. He asks to be put on the case because he notices the logo of the shadowy cult that he grew up on the suspect’s person. And Michael asserts that he would be the only officer who could get any headway on the case.
Addresses are found for all the names on the list, but all 4 residences seem to be no longer occupied, and an x-ray on the suspect reveals that he has swallowed a large key. Michael uses rather unorthodox methods to assess the crime scenes, much to the dismay of his partner.
With every lead that presents itself is the promise that the mystery can be solved. But very little is revealed about this shadowy cult, or about Michael’s past. And although Michael at first appears to be a very kind, caring, and sensitive individual, as the book progresses, you start to really wonder what his deal is, and in the last 20% of the book his behaviour becomes not just unexpected but shocking.
When the officers learn that their suspect had previously been institutionalised due to both mental illness and violent tendencies, this is one lead that’s explored. But due to issues surrounding jurisdiction issues, the officers get fobbed off.
But despite the slow progress of the case, the writing and the side stories will keep you wanting to read more. Michael’s partner does some independent digging around Michael’s ties with the cult, and later an outright bizarre psychiatric therapy comes to light that the suspect had undergone.
Due to a lack of evidence, the police are forced to release the suspect, and that’s when the action really kicks off! And it turns out that Michael is perhaps not the nice guy he was earlier made out to be…
I really enjoyed this book, and I wish it was part of a series, because there’s so much left uncovered. All in all, highly recommended!