As a brilliant young biochemist studying at Oxford, Martin Blackthorn had a bright future ahead of him. And then in the course of a behavioural experiment, he met a boy called John Slade, and in a moment his life took a very different and infinitely darker turn. On the surface John appeared quite normal, but when it came to inflicting pain, his behaviour was off the scale. Here, Martin recognized, was someone who had no inhibitions and no moral qualms: the perfect subject for a series of experiments he had never quite dared to try...
Twenty years later in Brighton, and DS Minter is faced with the most bizarre and disturbing murder of his fledgling police career, when the dismembered body of a local woman is casually dumped on a station platform. And then another body is discovered, and soon Minter has to face the possibility that Brighton now has its very own serial killer at work. A killer who seems to combine an off-the-scale IQ with a chilling brutality the city has never experienced before.
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