Skin (Jack Caffrey #4, Flea Marley #2) by Mo Hayder.
When the decomposed body of a young woman is found by near railway tracks just outside Bristol one hot May morning, all indications are that she’s committed suicide. That’s how the police want it too: all neatly squared and tidied away.
But DI Jack Caffery is not so sure. He is on the trail of someone predatory, someone who hides in the shadows and can slip into houses unseen.
And for the first time in a very long time, he feels scared.
Police Diver Flea Marley is working alongside Caffery. Having come to terms with the loss of her parents, and with the traumas of her past safely behind her, she’s beginning to wonder whether their relationship could go beyond the professional.
And then she finds something that changes everything. Not only is it far too close to home for comfort – but it’s so horrifying that she knows that nothing will ever be the same again.
And that this time, no one – not even Caffery – can help her …
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This picks up the story a few days after the conclusion of Ritual. At first it seems like it’s going to be a familiar murder/detective story with a bit of a development of a relationship between Jack and Flea before the author drops a hand grenade in the middle of Flea’s life. This seems so out of the blue that it appears completely unbelievable at first. However, once you let this feeling go it’s a very dark counterpoint to Jack’s story and there is an excellent depiction of how Flea deals with the stress and adapts to prevent her life from being completely destroyed.
Jack’s story is also quite good and I really enjoyed how the author blended and intertwined the stories while telling them from separate points of view. Right up to the very end I wasn’t quite sure how Jack was going to jump.
On top of Flea and Jack’s stories you then have the slightly mystical/supernatural elements of The Walking Man and the remaining African occult storyline from the previous book. All of these are expertly put together to create a book that really is unlike any other I’ve read.