A girl uncovers her own secrets while chasing a serial killer in a fantasy city.
Catrin is the assistant to Magister Thomas, the head architect of the wondrous Holy Sanctum in the city of Collis. While inspecting scaffolds at night, Cat hears a scream and follows the sound only to find a gruesome murder scene. The Comte de Montcuir assigns Simon, a handsome, young distant relation of his, to investigate. As a witness, Cat hides some information because the murdered girl visited Magister Thomas earlier that evening, and she doesn’t want to give his political enemies leverage. In the course of investigating, Cat starts to uncover her own past and things that may make her uniquely qualified to hunt the killer. As more sex workers are brutally killed, Cat, Simon, and his Montcuir cousins develop a profile of the killer—a profile that fits multiple people close to Cat. Plenty of clues and red herrings keep her (and readers) guessing. The romantic storylines gain tension as Cat must decide whom to trust. The “madness” of the killer is clearly separated from mental illness, and diversity in the presentation of mental illness is emphasized. Racially, most characters read as White; there’s an in-universe diversity storyline related to an isolationist nocturnal sect some believe to have magick. The story ends with high-stakes action and long-reaching consequences.
Dark thrills for fans of psychology, magick, and murder. (author's note) (Fantasy thriller. 14-adult)