By Val McDermid (Little Brown, R140)

This is a goody!

Profiler Tony Hill and his tenant, DCI Carol Jordan, have had their share of brushes with evil, deadly and murderous killers, but one stands out: Jacko Vance.

Not only is he one of the most intelligent men the pair has ever met, he’s also the most ruthless psychopath either has crossed paths with.

He has, thanks to Hill, Jordan and her squad of off-beat detectives, spent the last decade in jail, stewing in hatred for those who put him away.

He’s hidden in plain sight, doing nothing to draw attention to himself and being a model prisoner.

But his vast wealth has allowed him to make plans and now he’s escaped.

Vance is determined never to go back to jail and is ready to flee the country. But first he’s getting payback for the jail-time.

He’s learned as much about their lives as they once knew of his and he’s found their soft underbellies.

When he strikes, it is enough to break worlds apart and Jordan, Hill and co know that, whatever happens in the end, their lives will never be the same again.

A fabulous, gripping read that really has to be finished in one sitting.

One of the best recent crime thrillers. – Lindsay Slogrove