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Midwinter, a freezing night in Leith, near Edinburgh's red light district. A policewoman's flashlight stabs the darkness in a snow-covered cemetery. The circle of light stops on a colourless, dead face. So begins the hunt for a serial murderer of prostitutes in Gillian Galbraith's third Alice Rice mystery. Partly inspired by the real-life killings of prostitutes in Ipswich, this novel explores a hidden world where sex is bartered for money and drugs.

Off-duty, Alice's home life continues its uneven course. Her romance with the artist Ian Melville offers the prospect of happiness, but is plagued by insecurity. Her demented but determined neighbour, Miss Spinnell, offers a new challenge to Alice's patience at every meeting.

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