A householder who is clearing out the loft comes across a carefully concealed box containing a video camera.
When he plugs it in, unsure due to its age that it will even play, what he sees there has him immediately calling the police.
Senior Sergeant Veronika Pope and her team in the Special Crime Squad study the footage of the torture of four individuals held captive, all physically and mentally abused.
Assured this is no hoax, although all indications are that this happened long in the past, the team races to trace the identity of the victims.
Someone got away with murder once, will Sergeant Pope permit them to do so again?
THE FAMILY MAN is a gripping suspense thriller with a creepy edge.
Anna Willett is the bestselling author of DEAR NEIGHBOUR, UNWELCOME GUESTS, PEST and many other gripping thrillers. Her books are set in South Western Australia.
I received a copy of The Family Man from the author in return for an honest review. Anna Willett is a new-to-me author, but she has a back catalogue of books that I’m now very keen to check out.
The Family Man starts with the young couple doing up their new house and stumbling across an old camcorder which they doubt even works nowadays. But it does, and the footage it reveals leads them to calling the police immediately.
Detective Veronika Pope runs a team investigating cold cases. On seeing the tape, they realise its contents could solve several missing person cases – but the faces are hidden, and they only have the disturbing words of the victims’ voices. Will that be enough to identify them? Using the past ownership of the young couples’ new house as the first thread to unravel, they discover the owner is now dead. Even so, they still want to identify the victims if only to give their families some hope of closure.
Pursuing the evidence, they find a series of truly evil and abusive killings. The main perpetrator’s daughter seems reluctant to talk, but Pope and her team are dogged in their approach. Especially when it appears the killer had an accomplice … and another young woman has gone missing. Is the accomplice still at large, carrying out further torture and abuse?
Delving into years of anecdotes and reports, the team uncover more heinous beyond those in the original video. The case has blown up into something huge and the pressure is on to find the truth and the bodies of the victims.
The story is tense and addictive as the suspense ratchets up to a thrilling conclusion that puts Veronika in danger again. The characters are fully-fleshed with flaws and personal struggles running alongside their need to be professional and thorough. The Family Man makes for an exciting read, well-paced and satisfying. I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy crime fiction and police procedurals with plenty of delicious and suspenseful twists.