Dr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a groundbreaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past.
Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star. The enigmatic Emmeline shares a pouring of absinthe with him, brushes his arm and vanishes.
As he pursues her through the brooding nighttime city, desperate to see her again, he simultaneously becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation that has the police stymied - men gone missing, fished out of the bay, with no clue as to how they met their end - until Caleb's analysis of the chemical markers in their bodies reveals that each one was tortured to death. Also present are some of the key components of absinthe.
As Caleb finally looks forward to a night spent alone with Emmeline, part of his mind wonders if behind the seductive vision is something utterly terrifying....
©2016 Jonathan Moore (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 15-03-16

Could have been so much better

I had really high hopes for this in the beginning. The concept was excellent but without spoiling anything it was all a bit disappointing. Kind of felt cheated with the time invested in this book and I don't very often say that.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-04-16


am still not entirely sure what I just listened to. Very confusing story. Took a while to get going, started getting interesting and then just got plain weird.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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