My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was the first NJ Cooper novel for me to read and certainly not the last.
Karen Taylor returns to family holiday chalet on the Isle of Wight as part of her day job as a psychologist. She has the task of interviewing Spike in one of the prisons on the island as part of her profiling of criminal minds. He has been convicted of brutally murdering a family but during her time with him and on the island she begins to question everything about him and those certainties that the criminal justice system is supposed to safeguard.
The characterisation is well done and the author assembles a great cast without any of them stumbling into cliché and the motivation of all is perfectly handled. The usual plot devices of conflict with authority figures and the usual human/love interest give the novel all the usual requirements of a great and entertaining read.
The pace is perfect and the novel is full of tension, twist, and turns. It is an engaging read and the author has been able to write a crime novel with a fresh and new main character rather than the ubiquitous police procedural.