Harper Collins £9.99

A young woman's body is found in a seedy hotel. She has been so badly beaten that the only clue to her identity is a card bearing the name of an escort agency notorious for trafficking Eastern European prostitutes. In Snake Pass, the car of Gemma Wishart, a young researcher is Russian languages is found abandoned - the driver has vanished without a trace.

Detective Inspector Lynne Jordan is convinced there is a link between the murder victim and the missing researcher. Jordan's job is to stamp out the illegal trade of human flesh and Wishart was helping her by translating a transcript of an interview with a young Russian woman who has since turned up dead.

As two more bodies come to light Jordan is forced to concede that perhaps a serial killer is at work.

Danuta Reah has written a thriller that holds such a sense of darkness and evil that it makes you wonder about the mentality of the author. It's brilliantly written, gripping and terrifying.

Charley Maine