The plot begins when thirteen-year-old Alison Carter disappears from her home in Scardale, an isolated village in Derbyshire. Two children have disappeared from Manchester shortly before, but Inspector George Bennett does not see the cases as related. When he has ruled out a voluntary disappearance, he begins to suspect Alison has been abducted by someone she knew.
You could read this novel because it is a fantastic police procedural with an excellent and exciting plot. I guessed a few things, but still I rushed through the last two hundred and fifty pages in one night.
Or you could read it for the portrayal of the main characters: George Bennett and his colleagues, Alison´s mother and the other villagers (who are all related to Alison, of course).
Or you could read it for the very fine language.
Or for the setting: the village where people seem to continue a life style of a remote past. Children are born, they grow up and marry, they cultivate their land, but first of all they remain in Scardale, and they stick together!
No matter what, there is only one thing to say: if you have not read this one already, you should! (My son and older daughter agree, they read it first and told me to read it – NOW)
And to readers who know McDermid´s Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series: no, this one is not horrid or graphic. Children are victims, but McDermid handles the crimes against them without crossing my limit anywhere.