“Twenty years ago, three children walked into the woods. Only one returned.”
So begins the blurb for this psychological suspense novel set in Ireland.
Adam Ryan was the only child to return that day. He has no memory of what happened to his two friends, Peter and Jamie. He alone was found in a catatonic state, with blood-soaked sneakers and a badly torn shirt. He is now a detective, two decades later, going by his middle name, Rob in order to conceal his identity. He and his partner Cassie are called upon to investigate the murder of a young girl who was found in the same woods, part of which is currently the site of an archaeological dig in preparation for a new motorway. The dead girl’s father is the member of a group opposed to the project, known as Move the Motorway. Was the murder in retaliation for his outspoken views? During the investigation, “Rob” remembers bits and pieces of an event he and his friends witnessed prior to their disappearance. Suspicion is cast on the teenagers, now adults, who took part in that incident and also on the family members of the murdered girl. This is an extradorinarily well-written debut novel with all the twists and turns expected of this genre.