Tom Bevans loved Dani Lancing – no, that isn’t quite right; Tom Bevans still loves Dani Lancing. He fell in love with her when he was five and together they were cast as Mary and Joseph in the school nativity. A desire to protect and love Dani Lancing was etched into his young heart and it has never gone away. Whenever she was in trouble – he was there for her, always hoping she would realise he was the man for her. Maybe she would have loved him – but at the age of twenty-one she was murdered. For Tom, now a young policeman, that was the day he became The Sad Man. His grief over Dani consumed him, the pain burned him until, like fine porcelain, his face shattered – as if the wind changed and froze his face in a perpetual mask of pain and loss.
He became a FLO, family liaison officer, and it was his responsibility to break the news of death to the family. He was the best at it – his face always bore the mark of such pain that families thought he burned with empathy for their loss. Of course it was his own grief that scarred his face and heart.
He rose through the ranks and in 1999 he single-handedly tracked down a killer who left his victim with angel wings carved into the floor, and filled with her blood. (You can read the whole novella free here. Or download for ebook and kindle here)
That success allowed him to set up his own serious crimes unit, Operation Ares, which investigates sexually aggravated murders with multiple victims. It is the most successful unit in the Metropolitan police and is a monument to Dani’s memory. Back then Tom could not keep Dani safe – now he devotes every second to paying for that by keeping other young women safe. If he can’t keep them safe, then he will avenge them and find the men responsible – and punish them. That is how he lives his life. It is the life of a Sad Man… and then, from nowhere, Dani’s murder raises its ugly head and he is reunited with her parents Patty and Jim. Together they are the trinity of the pained, each of them haunted by Dani’s ghost and trapped in the past. Together they can solve the mystery surrounding Dani’s death. But at what cost to Tom?
The exciting climax of The Last Winter of Dani Lancing reveals the truth that Tom had feared… it hurts him deeply. But he must go on and keep two pledges he made. He promised three dead girls he would avenge them after they lost their lives to The Beautiful Skin murderer. And he vowed to help Franco – even though he knows Franco to be a dark-hearted killer. In Summer of Ghosts, Detective Superintendent Tom Bevans must again battle his demons to protect the living and avenge the dead.