Nobody does it better and it comes to writing thrillers with a strong narrative drive, thoroughly believable characters, a powerful emotional core, and surprising but satisfying twists.

Gardner scores again with this story of a policeman found with the body of her husband, shot three times with her gun and claiming she was a victim of domestic violence.

Detective DD Warren, struggling to cope with the news she is pregnant, realises there is more to this apparent open-and-shut case: most notable is that Trooper Leoni's six-year old daughter is missing.

Leoni knows she must hide the truth about the murder, staying one step ahead of DD, if she is ever to see little Sophie again.

Gardner writes crime as gripping as those by Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter, and domestic tales as gripping as Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay: what makes her different is she combines the two genres seamlessly.

David Knights