“Waites brings all his storytelling talent and experience to this chilling tale, with results so spectacular I might never go to Cornwall again.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
The Cornish village of St. Petroc is the sort of place where people come to hide. Tom Killgannon is one such person. An ex–undercover cop, Tom is in the Witness Protection Program hiding from some very violent people, and St. Petroc offers him a chance to live a safe and quiet life.
Until he meets Lila. Lila is a seventeen-year-old runaway. When she breaks into Tom’s house, she takes more than just his money. His wallet holds everything about his new identity. He also knows that Lila is in danger from the travelers’ commune she has been living at. Something sinister has been going on there, and Lila knows more than she realizes. But to find her, he risks not only giving away his location to the gangs he’s in hiding from but also becoming a target for whoever is hunting Lila.
Tom Killgannon, ex–undercover police officer and now in witness protection, is recalled to active service by a local police task force, headed by DS Sheridan. His mission is to befriend notorious child killer Noel Cunningham and find out where he buried the bodies of his final two victims.
The catch? Tom has to obtain that information from within Blackmoor Prison itself.
Undercover and with no backup, Tom soon runs into danger.
In the prison is convicted gangster Dean Foley. He used to run Manchester’s biggest gang, until Tom’s testimony put him away for life. He recognizes Tom, and so begins a cat-and-mouse game as Tom fights for survival before Foley can get his revenge.
But why can’t Tom reach DS Sheridan, and what is the real reason he has been sent to Blackmoor Prison?
When his song is over, so are you
Under a starless winter night in rural Cornwall, four killers dressed in bizarre folkloric garb brutally invade the home of the wealthy West family. They destroy the posh house and kill the terrified family.
All but one: traumatized seventeen-year-old Simon manages to escape, fleeing through snowy woods. Later, fears that he’s an active target of madmen or criminals lead the police to once more come knocking on Tom Killgannon’s door: Will he watch over Simon until a more secure place is found for the boy?
An ex–undercover cop now living in witness protection, Tom’s turned his back on his violent past. Living in seclusion in his coastal cottage alongside his adoptive daughter, Lila, he also has a romance blossoming with local tavern owner, Pearl Ellacott.
Tom’s reluctant to shelter Simon, but the boy comes to stay, and villains are soon circling the cottage like vultures. When there’s a break-in late one night, Tom must protect his own. The ensuing violence disrupts the household harmony: a rift opens up as Pearl fears a life with Tom will be forever plagued by violence.
Meanwhile, a local by-election in this economically depressed part of the country arouses dangerous nativist sentiments. Simon falls into the clutches of a fanatical political cult that see a way to brainwash him and use him for their own ends.
To save the boy, Tom must summon from within the violent man he once was, risking the new life he created to face down the most lethal of foes.