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In Ned Kelly Award-winner Robotham's taut seventh psychological thriller featuring psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and retired cop Vincent Ruiz (after 2011's The Wreckage), the Oxford police approach Joe for help in profiling a suspect, Augie Shaw. Accused of murdering Patricia and William Heyman in the couple's farmhouse during a blizzard, Shaw strikes Joe as an unlikely killer since he suffers from delusions and possibly schizophrenia. Interwoven with Joe's investigation are journal entries by 18-year-old Piper Hadley, who was kidnapped-along with her best friend, Tash McBain-three years earlier and is still being held. Known as "the Bingham Girls," Piper and Tash dominated the news but when no clues turned up, it was assumed they ran away. When links arise between the Heyman murders and the unsolved kidnapping, Joe and Vincent work to reopen the girls' case and find them before it's too late. Robotham doesn't shy away from the unsettling, but he never seeks merely to titillate. Agent, Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Three years after British teenagers Piper Hadley and Tash McBain disappear, the case remains unsolved. Then, in the midst of a blinding blizzard, a man and woman are brutally murdered in the farmhouse where Tash once lived. The local police bring Augie Shaw, a mentally disabled man, into custody, but clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is certain he didn't do it. O'Loughlin has been working with police on the two cases, though at the beginning, they gave him little credence or respect. (When they called him Professor, you could practically hear their collective sneer.) O'Loughlin doubts Shaw has the intellectual capacity to mastermind an abduction, much less a homicide. But what evil soul did? When Tash's body is found at the bottom of a nearby frozen lake, hope dwindles but doesn't disappear. If Tash escaped the clutches of her abductor at least temporarily, perhaps her friend Piper is still alive. Australian investigative journalist and novelist Robotham (Bleed for Me, 2012) creates relentless suspense as law enforcement and O'Loughlin close in on a sinister soul with a deranged criminal mind.--Block, Allison Copyright 2010 Booklist