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Mark Ashthorpe

When eight-year-old Kelly-Ann is abducted from a play park, there is a desperate race against time to find the man who was seen leading her away.

Simon Shaw is trying to get his life back on track after serving time for child pornography offences. He had met Kelly-Ann's mother for coffee just before her daughter was abducted. He frantically claims his innocence, but DS Paul Smith is convinced that Shaw is their man.

The abductor has already killed in cold blood, and he won't hesitate to do it again if Kelly-Ann doesn't realise how lucky she is to have someone like him to love her. Imprisoned in a cellar, her life is hanging in the balance.

As the trail starts to go cold, a new twist leads DS Paul Smith and Simon Shaw on a terrifying chase across country. And, when startling new intelligence is revealed, Paul Smith has to ask himself - who can he trust?

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I was a Hampshire police officer for 30 years, retiring in 2011 as a Detective Chief Inspector. My particular interest was the control and management of sexual and violent offenders and the investigation and support for vulnerable victims, such as domestic and child abuse victims. I am fascinated by the inter-relation between Dangerousness and Vulnerability. After retiring from the police, I became a safeguarding trainer for children's services but was forced to stop working when I was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy; this condition has inspired me to write. I am married to Debbie, we have three daughters, a dog and two cats. We live near Winchester in Hampshire, UK.