Not having quite finished with my current run of "darks" - Dark Flight, by Lin Anderson. This is my second book from this Edinburgh based author.
Little more than a first paragraph this time, to give you a general feel for how the book opens
"'You can go outside, but stay in the garden. Do you hear me, Stephen?' His mum's voice was shrill, like a witch's.
Gran's bedroom smelt of pee. His mum was stripping the bed, while his gran sat in a winged armshair, her hair a fluffy white halo. She winked at Stephen as he left the room. His gran was sick, but she wasn't cross.
The garden as tiny and surrounded by a high hedge. Once, when he came on holiday, he'd helped his granddad cut the hedge, but now it was so tall it blocked the light.
Stephen stood on the closed gate, humming to himself ... until he wasy the bones.
They lay in the shape of a cross, on the pavement just outside the garden. Excitement beat the pulse at his temple. Already his active imagination was writing the bones into a story of pirates and treasure."
A six year old boy has vanished from his own back garden, his mother and grandmother horrifically murdered. At the scene, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod finds a chilling African talisman made from the bones of a child. Then the mutilated torso of a second child is pulled from the river. Has Stephen been snatched by human traffickers who intend to butcher him in a juju ritual? Can Rhona decipher the talisman's meaning and track Stephen down before he becomes the next link in the killer's chain?