Fiona Cummins established herself as a major new voice in crime fiction with her debut thriller Rattle and the follow up, The Collector. The books introduced us to troubled detective Etta Fitzroy and earned plaudits from the likes of Lee Child, Martina Cole and Val McDermid. Now Cummins is back with another serial killer thriller, only this time it’s a stand-alone novel in which the plot revolves around a small community and people’s obsession with finding affordable, desirable property. Garrick and Olivia Lockwood are looking for a fresh start and think they’ve found the perfect house in an area where community spirit is high on everyone’s agenda.
But there’s just one problem. A killer is on the loose and their dream home may soon become the stuff of nightmares. The investigating officer, DS Wildeve Stanton has been on the case for six months and is no closer to finding a lead. And then it gets personal. Like Stephen King, Cummins is brilliant at taking the homely and the familiar and injecting it with a deep sense of dread. The tone is menacing and the writing intimate and immersive. Her killer speaks directly to the reader, sharing their thoughts about how different victims taste and smell, inviting us to understand their perverse obsession. The plot grips from the first page and doesn’t let up until the final, terrifying twist. This is seriously good crime fiction, beautifully written, incredibly tense and populated with characters we care about, despite their flaws. Even the killer has a perverse charm. You may never look at your neighbours in quite the same way again.