The smell is terrible, but as you slowly approach the charred corpse in the centre of the circle, your sense of smell is overwhelmed by the sight in front of you. The mangled, twisted figure appears to defy all laws of nature. It is hard to imagine that it was ever alive in the first place. As the forensic team poke and prod about in the ashes, you hear a call as one of the white suited officials calls you over. They point to the corpse and you struggle to see what they are getting excited about.
Then you see it. Like one of those magic eye pictures that only come together when you look at them in a certain way, the image in front of you slowly coalesces into something familiar.
You look across to your colleague who looks as confused as you feel.
As the crime scene official carefully removes the loose ashes with a fine brush, underneath are revealed markings, carefully cut deep into the flesh of the corpse.
There’s no doubt about it it. You reach for your notebook and scribble down the words that are now clearly apparent in front of you.
Looking at your notes your worst fears are confirmed.
The killer has written a…. blurb:
A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of . . .
Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.
As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …