by Simon Toyne
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Pub Date 11 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2023
In this gripping suspense novel from the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy, lead forensic expert Laughton Rees is back, this time investigating a series of missing women in a small town near the Forest of Dean—where she uncovers a dark and sinister plot, decades in the making.
Adele Friar knows better than most that something dangerous lurks in the forest. So when her sister Maddie goes missing, she fears that the woods may hold the answers. After all, Maddie isn’t the only one who has disappeared recently.
Locals put the unusually high number of missing persons in the area down to inexperienced hikers getting lost in the forest’s depths, or girls abandoning their sleepy rural town for the excitement of city life. Some even blame the Cinderman, a legend who haunts the woods looking for unsuspecting victims.
Forensic specialist Laughton Rees doesn’t believe in legends, she believes in facts. With help from Adele and DCI Tannahill Khan back in London, she is determined to find Maddie and dispel the dangerous ghost stories once and for all.
But something strange is going on in the forest—the police seem reluctant to investigate the disappearances, and the locals aren’t talking. What if the monster in the woods isn’t a myth after all, and a cold-blooded killer is stalking his victims from the shadowy safety of the trees?
As Laughton and Adele question everyone, from the gruff leader of an off-grid commune to the mysterious Earl who presides over the crumbling abbey in the heart of the forest, they slowly begin to unravel the legend of the Cinderman—and discover the truth is far uglier, and far more dangerous, than any mythical monster.