GHOST IN THE MACHINE by Ed James

ghost-v3-sml What a fun read!  This is a murder mystery/police procedural set in Scotland.  And it all revolves around computers and social media.  A real up-to-the-minute kind of whodunnit.

Detective Constable Scott Cullen is only three months on the job when he is handed a missing persons case.  Which quickly turns into a murder investigation when the young woman in question is found with her throat slit in a motel room.   DC Cullen starts working on the ‘who did she know’ angle and finds out that she met a new guy online through ‘SchoolBook’, a social networking site.

Deeper digging uncovers a man with no trail whatsoever.  None.  Applying pressure to the owners of the social networking site produces little, and takes the reader into the land of how all this internet stuff works, and how one can completely cover one’s tracks online if one is savvy.

They find who she was going to meet, only on further investigation to discover that he is a sock puppet…. his picture was lifted from a modeling site and his phone numbers and addresses are totally false — they don’t exist at all.

When a second young woman is found with her throat slit and the same blue rope used, it has become clear that the killer is using the internet to lure people into his ‘web’, you’ll pardon the pun.

Great detective work, great police procedural explanations,  and an interesting protagonist in Scott Cullen in this first of what is meant to be a series.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series.

 

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