When the body of a young woman is found at the bottom of an open grave, Detective Lottie Parker fears that it could be Elizabeth Byrne who, only days earlier, vanished after getting on a train. The case stirs up memories of a past case for Corrigan, her superior officer, when another young woman from Ragmullin disappeared a decade ago in a similar way. A coincidence or could there be a connection? When two more women vanish in a similar fashion, Lottie fears that there is a serial killer at large. With major problems of her own and a new boss to contend with, this looks like being one of Lottie Parker’s most difficult cases to date.
No Safe Place follows on from the previous book The Lost Child but as this could still be read as a standalone, I will refrain from giving any spoilers! Lottie is still struggling with events from her past so when she discovers that her boss is going to have an operation and his post is being covered by someone she dislikes immensely, it is inevitable that she will, once again, turn to medication to get her through the day. Lottie is an incredibly tragic character yet at the same time is tenacious and totally committed to her job. I think most fans of this series are desperate for her to have a bit of luck in her life and it’s about time her and Boyd sorted themselves out once and for all!
The mystery is a fascinating one. Young women are going missing on a train and there are very few, if any, witnesses. Several suspects are put forward and it is not until the very end of the book that we finally discover the culprit and the reason behind them doing what they are doing. Patricia Gibney has done a fantastic job in concealing who the guilty party is to the point where the clues given could apply to more than one character. I liked how all the sub-plots linked together and whereas in some books these links could be tenuous, this was not the case here. All loose ends were tied up nicely and the conclusion was realistic and satisfying.
As in previous books, the author has thrown in a few curveballs which will, hopefully, be explored in subsequent books. One in particular (which linked to the previous book) was a shocker and I can’t wait to see what happens there!
This is a series that is going from strength to strength – Lottie is becoming one of those familiar fictional characters that seems as though they have been around forever. I hope there is much more to come!
With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for the ARC.