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Suzie Gray is only fifteen when she is stabbed to death within metres of her uncle's yacht on the Isle of Wight. Her body is found in the blood-smeared arms of Olly Matken, a family friend who grew up with her. Schizophrenic and vulnerable, he presents a serious challenge to the police. 'I didn't hurt her!' Olly protests. 'All I did was keep her from the devil. ' DCI Charlie Trench turns to forensic psychologist Karen Taylor. She knows she should ignore his call, but she cannot. Curiosity and, although she would never admit it to her partner, Will, a dangerous attraction to the brooding detective, push her into a deeply troubling case. Is Olly capable of murder? His own psychologist doesn't think so, but his father does. The only way to find the truth is to identify Olly's devil. And Karen has demons of her own.
Six months on from the events in NO ESCAPE, forensic psychologist Karen Taylor is busy assessing prisoners out on parole for a Ministry of Justice project designed to predict which of them will re-offend. One of them is Randall Greer, a violent serial rapist, whose last offence took place on the Isle of Wight. Karen is sure he will attack again - and that this time he will probably kill. So when Randall breaks the terms of his parole and goes missing, Karen breaks all the rules. She returns to the Isle of Wight to warn DCI Charlie Trench, because he was involved in Greer's arrest and subsequent trial for the rape of Lizzie Fane. Randall had threatened to kill Lizzie if she gave evidence against him. Lizzie Fane has secretly reinvented herself as Lisa Raithe, and is enjoying a burgeoning career as a successful artist. She's settled into an attractive village well away from the Island - and has tentatively started dating again. As Lisa, she has everything going for her. Until she hears that Randall is out, and on the loose. She has stoically rebuilt her shattered life - how far will she go to protect it? Soon people who gave evidence at Randall's trial are found murdered. Has the rapist now turned killer, as Karen predicted? Has Lizzie herself turned avenging angel? Or, as Karen starts to suspect, is someone else pulling the strings?
Spike Falconer is in prison on the Isle of Wight - convicted of murder. What made him choose four innocent strangers, a family picnicking, as his victims? Why did he need to kill? Forensic psychologist Karen Taylor comes to probe the mind of this psychopath. Trying to recover from the death of her husband and the dark memories surrounding it, Karen is drawn into life on the Island. She becomes involved with DCI Charlie Trench, cool and abrasive, the opposite in every way from her partner Will Hawkins. And she has to get to know Spike's adoptive family, the rich and influential Falconers, who are tight-lipped and closing ranks. Someone on the Island doesn't want Karen getting too close to Spike. The more she learns, the more afraid she becomes of those who are threatened by her discoveries. And then they start to act . . .
Renowned businessman and philanthropist Sir Dan Blackwater is found dead in his house on the Isle of Wight. Spread-eagled on the kitchen table, his body has been mutilated and knives have been driven through his wrists and ankles. The only other person inside the locked house is his PA, Sheena Greeves. Distraught and unable to remember anything that happened before her discovery of the body, she is DCI Charlie Trench's prime suspect. But he knows too much about the ways of lawyers to charge her yet and brings in forensic psychologist Karen Taylor to unlock her memory. But Karen's work unlocks a lot more than a troubled mind, bringing to light some of the most unspeakable things one human being can do to another. And it will drive her into the hands of merciless thugs who will stop at nothing to protect their own secrets. n ex-publisher, past Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, and lifelong Londoner, N. J. Cooper writes for a variety of newspapers and journals and contributes to many radio programmes such as Woman's Hour and Saturday Review. She is the author of No Escape and Lifeblood. [Pack shots of No Escape, Lifeblood and Face of the Devil]
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