Without Trace by Leigh Russell

Without Trace by Leigh Russell (DI Geraldine Steel #20)
English | 2023 | Mystery & Thriller | 2 MB

She opened her mouth to scream, but he slapped something across her lips. The gag tasted of salt and mould, rough sacking on her tongue. With a terrifying certainty, she knew she was going to die. DI Geraldine Steel knows people go missing all the time; sometimes because they don’t want to be found. So when her partner Ian asks her to look into the disappearance of his football-buddy’s girlfriend, her first instinct is to reassure him there’s no need for concern.

Until she’s called to a suspected murder, and all her instincts tell her she’s right about the identity of the victim. The young woman has earth and leaf mould and fragments of twigs in her long fair hair, her nose, her mouth, under her finger nails, clinging to her clothes. It’s as if she’d been completely encased in earth. And yet she was found on the pavement, at the side of a suburban road, where she wasn’t in contact with any soil or mud.

Had she managed to escape a living grave? Without a crime scene, the investigation focuses on her boyfriend. But Ian insists his friend is incapable of murder, and Steel is torn. Without evidence, she knows their case is weak. But without evidence, can she let a possible killer go free? She needs to find out what really happened. Where did the assault occur? Why are there traces of DNA from two other unidentified sources on the body? What reason could there be to attack a popular young woman who never did anyone any harm? And why bury her body so carelessly that she was able to escape? Then another young woman is reported missing. Unless he has an accomplice, they have an innocent man in custody. And Steel is running out of time . . .

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