The first in a major new series of crime novels from the incomparable Howard Marks. When DS Catrin Price's ex-lover is found dead, she discovers that he was investigating the suicide of a cult rock star some years before. But is this connected to the serial rapist Rhys put behind bars, the same serial rapist Cat is convinced is stalking her?
When Detective Catrin Price returns to Cardiff after 12 years of self-imposed exile she is determined to lay to rest the ghosts of her unhappy past. Then her ex-boyfriend Rhys, once a promising young policeman but now a washed-up junkie, is found dead on one of her first nights on patrol. The official verdict is an accidental overdose, but Cat is convinced that there is something more to his death, something that will explain why the man who saved her life was so unwilling to save his own.
Rhys had always been haunted by the mysterious disappearance of Owen Face, the troubled lead singer of rock band Seerland, who was last seen at a notorious suicide spot. No body was ever found and when Cat joins forces with one of Rhys' former colleagues, now a wealthy business man obsessed with all things Seerland-related, they begin to wonder whether the rumours that Face is still alive may be true. But when Cat is stalked by a meancing figure with a striking resemblance to a serial rapist Rhys famously put away, she begins to realise her life may also be in danger.
“A dark and compelling read from a writer who knows his world from the inside out - a very impressive debut. I can't wait for Marks's next”
M. R. Hall
“A thrilling debut novel - Catrin Price is an engaging heroine”
“Howard Marks has squatter's rights in the world of crime. And it shows”
“A sublime piece of crime writing... Sympathy for Devil is a breathtaking debut. It is perfectly plotted, often eerie, always evocative, and utterly thrilling throughout”
“Pacey and exhilarating”
Laura Wilson, Guardian
Jane Jackman, Independent
“I really enjoyed it and loved the central character of Detective Catrin Price and closed the book wanting to read more of her in future books.”
Books and Writers blog
“The narrative has a convincing air when dealing with Cardiff, the forensic background, rock music and, above all, pharmacological details.”
Andrew Taylor, Spectator