Billingham plots like a mad scientist, It’s like driving down a long and curvy road with 1000m drops at either side, and wearing a blindfold at the same time.
Three British couples are on holiday when a young girl at their holiday destination goes missing. At first the enquiries are just routine and then as the net is drawn closer the reader realises that one of the six of them must be the guilty party.
The six of them start meeting up when they return to the UK in an attempt to cultivate their blossoming friendships. Of course the reality is that holiday friendships and romances are usually best left where they started in the first place.
As the story unfolds the reader is introduced to the possible suspects and their supposed alibis, whilst a zealous UK police officer uses the disappearance to make a name for herself. The US police are reluctant to listen to her extensive research until there is an update on the missing girl.
I really liked the way Billingham plays with the stereotypical assumptions and presumptions of his readers. I include mine in that statement. I wouldn’t be surprised if most readers thought the same thing during the process of elimination. Let’s just say, the conclusion was quite the revelation.