Heinrich “Hades “Archer is a criminal fixer, who owns a garbage dump that he occasionally allows people to use to dispose of bodies. A group of brutal but bumbling would-be kidnappers show up looking to dispose of the corpses of two children, the only family left after a botched job. Hades kills the criminal, and discovers that the children, a brother and sister, Eric and Eden, are still alive. Not knowing what else to do, he takes them in and raises them as his own. The ordeal that they suffered however scars them, and they show signs of becoming serial killers themselves. Hades trains them in all of the things that they need to know, insists that they limit their crimes to the guilty, and gets them jobs with the police.
Years later Detective Frank Bennett starts working with Eden after the death of her former partner. Their first case is tracking down a serial killer who harvests organs, and not only for the money. From there the book turns into a series of parallel investigations, as Frank finds himself investigating Eric and Eden, the death of her former partner, and finding himself in a surprising relationship with Martina, a gutsy witness who managed to escape from the killer. By the time the tale really starts to take off Frank has so many many plates spinning at once that I got dizzy.
Ms. Fox provides all the twists and turns you could possibly want, and she does it with great style. All of the characters are unique and finely drawn, if often unpleasant. Martina will break your heart, and Eden is just phenomenal. This is a twisted story, dark, bloody and original. It’s strong stuff, and Ms. Cox does a bravura job of pulling it off. The tension grows and grows, and Ms. Cox doesn’t flinch for a second. Not once does she take her foot off of the stories throat, and by the last few chapters I found myself having to hold back to savor the details instead of just flying to the end. All in all, Hades is a startling, compelling, and very dark ride.