At the opening of The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, Patty Lancing has a man she has kidnapped, tied to a chair and aches to kill. She is sixty-five years old, lives alone surrounded by the walls of death (link) and is obsessed with solving the mystery surrounding her daughter. Dani was abducted and murdered, more than twenty years ago (1989), and that event shattered Patty’s life and trapped her in an all-consuming need to find the man who did this and punish him. Kill him.
Patty had been a top crime journalist for years, winning many awards for her investigative journalism and having solved a few cases herself (one of them is available as a free novella for ebook and kindle – The Ugly Man) she is convinced she can find the killer, in fact she thinks it canonly be her who will bring him to justice; but whose justice?
Patty leaves her work and concentrates full-time on Dani’s case – turning her office into a macabre operations room, the walls covered in witness statement, reports, endless questions and photos of Dani; many of them from the crime scene and post-mortem. Every day she is surrounded by her daughter… her dead daughter.
Eight years after the murder, Patty and Jim Lancing separate. Patty’s obsession has driven a wedge between them, and she cannot stand his kindness and love – it burns her. She needs to be cold and heartless if she is to find Dani’s killer and avenge her. That is what she is living for.
And if she can solve the mystery surrounding Dani – then what? Will she be able to relax – to set aside her need for justice, for revenge? In Summer of Ghosts, which takes place six months after Patty discovers the truth of Dani’s murder, we find her re-building the walls of death once more. This time it is not with the evidence surrounding Dani’s killing. Now she is seeking justice for three other young women, all of them killed by The Beautiful Skin murderer. Patty needs to help these young women, she needs to be working… and maybe she needs the fire in her belly that comes from seeking to avenge violence done to young women. She is still obsessed – and maybe she still needs to hurt someone. She still needs revenge.