Van Clieaf expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her second installment in the Alex Desocarras Mystery Series which finds the ingenious Alex Desocarras on the trail of a sinister criminal. After Ange Batlan, the main crown witness in the high-profile pedophile ring, is found tied to a tree with his throat slashed, Detective Alex Desocarras finds himself embroiled in a nightmare chain of events that will test the limits of his endurance against a ruthless adversary. Alex is an empathetic and flawed hero, and his integrity, great sense of fairness, and tender bond with his wife elevate the narrative beyond a horrific tale of organ trafficking, murdered women, and suppressed trauma. The engrossing subplot involving the human trafficking ring is incorporated nicely into the main storyline. Smoothly paced narrative, peppered with a large array of fully fleshed-out diverse characters, carries the reader along while exploring the intricacies of family and marriage, racial discrimination, and indigenous population’s constant struggle for equality and acceptance. The suspense is tangible, and a plethora of shocking twists and turns keep the tension high. The graphic scenes of extreme violence and physical abuse make the novel suitable for mature readers. Gritty and poignant at once, this page-turning mystery is a winner.