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At the start of this powerful first of a new crime series from Irish author Millar (Dark Souls), wild dogs finish off a battered gang-rape victim, left for dead in a unused quarry outside Belfast one summer day in 1978. Decades later, someone is picking off the men responsible for this outrage. At the behest of a shadowy employer, PI Karl Kane investigates the death of one of the rapists, whose body turns up in the city's Botanic Gardens. Flashbacks to the 1960s, when a young boy witnessed his mother's murder and narrowly escaped death at her killer's hands, help build suspense as their relevance to the present-day murders slowly and chillingly comes into focus. Millar adds police corruption to the mix to make Kane's search for the truth even more troublesome. While some minor plot elements may strike readers as contrived (e.g., the escape of some wild pigs leads to significant evidence), the consistently tough prose should help gain Millar fans in the U.S. with a taste for the hard-boiled. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.