Skin and Bone by Kathryn Fox

In Kathryn’s own words

skin and bone by Kathryn Fox

‘Skin and Bone features Dr Anya Crichton’s best friend, Detective Kate Farrer, who returns to work after a traumatic event.

She is involved in an arson-homicide case that challenges and has her questioning her future. Kate Farrer is a fascinating character. Not someone I would want to have dinner with… but it was a wonderful way to delve into her backstory and find out what makes her tick.’

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.

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‘Homicide detective Kate Farrer, having tentatively recovered from being held captive by a psychopath, returns to work and catches an arson case that has left a woman dead. Forensics reveal that the woman had recently given birth; no baby is found. Kate and new rookie partner Oliver Parke investigate until sidetracked by the disappearance of a wealthy teenage girl.

In the meantime, the entire unit is under investigation for corruption, with Kate herself falling under suspicion while suspecting her new partner. Fox strews just enough clues to keep readers guessing,

Both Farrer and Parke are delightful turns on the standard ‘veteran and rookie’ buddy pairing, as Oliver demonstrates fresh ideas and reasoning that make him an excellent counterpart for Kate’s cynicism and experience. Fox ties several story lines together deftly, and the forensics enrich the story. She then twists the plot assuredly.’

‘well-constructed and strikingly written…brims with forensic and procedural detail and psychological suspense’

‘She writes better than Kathy Reichs … Patricia Cornwell …must be looking in her rear vision mirror… The conclusion is violent, disturbing and unpickable, the reader turning pages with that weight on the chest that makes breathing difficult’

‘Fox’s two previous novels, MALICIOUS INTENT and WITHOUT CONSENT set a very high standard and it is pleasing indeed to see that she has been able to maintain the standard in this, her third outing.’

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