I opened Maureen Carter's new book with a smile of pleased anticipation at meeting the irrepressible Bev Morriss again. And this fifth book in the series is a terrific, pacy story of a serial killer targeting paedophiles: a murderer who's advertising his killings in the newspapers and drawing an over-eager newspaperman into his macabre web - a web that tangles the innocent as well as the guilty.
Intriguingly woven into the escalating police search for 'The Disposer' is Bev's own complex private life - her loves and hates, and her dreams and disappointments.
As always, Ms Carter's writing is forceful and incisive, and so very very visual. Every setting is believable and vivid, from the Asbo-ridden Churchill housing estate with its tower blocks and concrete tunnels, to the newsroom of the 'Evening News'; from the incident centre of Highgate police station to the streets and restaurants of Bev's own Birmingham itself.
The plot unfolds with consummate skill, and the pace doesn't hesitate for so much as a paragraph. The final denoument is startling.
Readers coming to this book first, will find themselves compelled to go out to buy the earlier ones.