If you’re a fan of London-set police procedurals, it might be worth investigating Lost Souls, the third book in Chris Merritt‘s Lockhart and Green series. Dan Lockhart is the detective and SIO, and American Lexi Green the psychologist who helps his team by providing a profile of the offender.
In this book, they’re looking for someone who is targeting and abducting vulnerable children – those in care, mainly, or isolated, or bullied. He poses them in churches, kneeling in front of the altar, hands held up.as though they’re praying. This, however, is not where they’re killed – the offender clearly has access to somewhere else to murder, clean up, and pose his chosen victim.
As well as this case, Dan is continuing to investigate the disappearance two years previously of his wife Jess – something he’s convinced her brother Nick knows more about than he’s admitting to. So as well as his official investigation, he’s taking it upon himself to spy on Nick, leaving him burning the candle at both ends. Despite his search for Jess, there’s clearly an attraction between him and Lexi. She’s seeing a teacher called Tim, but it’s apparent Dan would be a better match for her. However, with her father ill in the States with Covid she has plenty on her mind, too.
There are a number of suspects in this book, and they’re all given such equal weight it’s really impossible to guess who’s responsible – I was continually changing my mind as to who the killer was! There’s a real race on for Lexi – and the team – to identify the perpetrator before he identifies his next victim. You may find it nail-biting stuff…
One for fans of police procedurals that know how to keep you guessing, this looks like it could become an enjoyable series. I may have felt that I’d have had greater advantage had I read the previous two novels in the series (Knock Knock and Who’s Next, respectively) as I’d have gotten to know the characters better, but I’ll get round to that. And I look forward to getting to know Dan Lockhart (and his quest for his missing wife), and Lexi Green – and the others – better in future. This is a good, solid police procedural – although not for the faint-hearted!
With thanks to Noelle Holten and all at Bookouture for allowing me to participate in this blog tour. Any views expressed are my own.
BLURB: Standing at the school gates, he waits until the last child leaves the safety of the playground. And then he follows at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Only he knows what’s going to happen next.
In a quiet church, on a busy London street, 12-year-old Donovan Blair is found dead. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer. Just hours ago, he was happily playing with his friends at school, but now his body is lifeless, and his killer is long gone.
Detective Dan Lockhart is working alone on his wife’s missing person’s case when he receives a call telling him to get to the crime scene at St Mary’s Church immediately.
Bringing in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help profile the murderer, Dan is convinced that the killer has provided a clue by leaving the body in a prayer position, and Lexi agrees. As they try to get into the mind of the person responsible, another victim is found. A 13-year-old girl, left in a different church, posed in exactly the same way.
Fearing the murderer may already have another child in his sights, Dan and Lexi work together to establish links between the two deaths, and soon discover that not only were both children in care – they had attended the same school. And when it emerges that Lexi’s new boyfriend works there, things become difficult between her and Dan. How much can he tell Lexi about the case? And could she be at risk?
As Dan makes a breakthrough in the investigation, he receives devastating news about his wife, Jess. But with children’s lives at stake and Lexi in danger, Dan must put his personal emotions aside and chase the killer. Can he and Lexi work out who is behind the murders before another vulnerable child is taken