This story was very well crafted and I couldn't put it down...But it is, by its very nature, extremely freaky. The descriptions of the crimes that take place are far too graphic for most I suspect. And the nature of the crimes (sexual homicide) are far outside what most folks would want to read about.However, I fell in love with McDermid's writing style with The Grave Tattoo so it was a foregone conclusion that I would read another. I'm not exactly sorry that I picked this one up but I am glad it is over at the same time. Very few books have been so painful to read and yet so well written that I couldn't put it down.The main characters are compelling and believable. They are complex and McDermid makes them and the environment of the story come to life with careful attention to details. The ending was not at all what I expected. Not even a little and it takes a lot for me to be totally surprised by a crime novel. Bottom line: I learned a lot about crafting a _good_ crime novel with 3-dimensional characters from this book but I would not recommend this book. Not to just anyone that is.