The question of who killed Sophie Washington is a complex one, possibly implicating the whole community, in this debut crime novel taking place in the gritty underworld of North East England
Early one cold November morning in a run-down seaside resort, the body of a young girl is discovered. Found abandoned just five minutes' walk from her home, her face has been mutilated beyond recognition. DI Jack Brady, just back on active duty after recovering from a vicious shooting incident, is on the edge. Struggling to deal with his marriage breakup and his tortured past, his problems intensify when long-standing friend and colleague DI James Matthews confidentially reveals that he was with the victim the night of her murder. As Brady delves ever deeper into Sophie's life, he comes to realize that the three men who should have protected her during her short life are the chief suspects in her murder: her teacher, her stepfather, and a police detective. Brady finds himself unraveling a metaphorical thread that eventually makes him reevaluate not only the seemingly blameless life of the victim, but more disturbingly, Matthews's motivation and ultimately his own.