The set up wasn't all that original; horrific murder years ago, family trying to move on, events seemingly begin to repeat themselves but if the murderer is in prison who is terrorising this family? Is the right person behind bars? The first third of the book you really don't know what the hell is going on. It is the perfect thriller movie plot.
What really brings this book to life is the main character; Detective Inspector Jack Caffery. Now this is the 7th Caffery book and usually I hate reading books out of order but as it was for book club I had to grin and bear it. Caffery is a great character; he feels very real on the page, kinda damaged goods in a Luther sort of way which isn't particularly original and. But hey, if it ain't broke...
It is very clever how Hayder weaves a back story relating to his missing brother into the narrative giving him a real drive to discover the horrors happening at the house on the hilltop quite by accident. You are flitting between the two locations, willing Caffery to get to the house on time whilst at the same time wondering what the hell happened to his brother. This reminded me of the similar sub-plot device used by Rachel Abbott in Sleep Tight. A very clever way to keep you invested in the series and eager to read the next book.
So how about the twist ? Well it's a good one, kinda two twists. I had the creeping suspicion from about half way through but I wasn't 100% right. Also you have to suspend belief slightly as the chances of this person happening to be in the perfect situation for this to all come about it a little far fetched.
And all thrillers are judged by their ending. I won't spoil it by telling you if Caffrey made it to the house in time but this ending I liked because it didn't wrap everything up in a big red bow which always feels completely ridiculous after such a dramatic storyline.