SKIN AND BONE - Kathryn Fox
SKIN AND BONE has all the elements of a good crime novel. Well-developed characters: a suitably absorbing plot with intertwining threads and enough clues to allow the reader to solve the mystery.
Kathryn Fox’s first two novels (Malicious Intent and Without Consent) featured Dr. Anya Crichton. Farrer was the investigating detective in Malicious Intent. In featuring Farrer as the protagonist in SKIN AND BONE, author has given herself scope to create two separate series. This also firmly establishes Fox in Australia’s growing pool of talented crime writers.
If you enjoyed Fox’s first two books, then you won’t be disappointed in SKIN AND BONE. I read Without Consent early in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it. If anything, I think SKIN AND BONE is even better. If you are new to Fox’s work, then SKIN AND BONE won’t suffer from the reader not being familiar with her earlier books.
Detective Kate Farrer returns to duty after three months of leave following her traumatic abduction. Fearing that she has lost her edge, she reluctantly partners homicide newcomer Oliver Parke, and they are thrown into the investigation of a woman burnt beyond recognition in a house-fire. The post-mortem reveals she had recently given birth, but there is no sign of the baby.
With homicide short-staffed, Kate and Oliver are also ordered to look into the disappearance of a teenage girl. Suspicion falls on Mark Dobbie, a steroid user who is obsessed with the missing girl’s sister. When the detectives find explicit photos of unconscious women in his home, they wonder if they have found their prime suspect.
While the pressure to identify the charred body and find the teenage girl escalates, a quadriplegic is burnt to death in his bed. Shocking links to all three crimes emerge and Kate Farrer’s past demons come back to haunt her. But she must fight them – her partner’s life depends on it.