Magnus ‘Steps’ Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him ‘The Human Bloodhound’ since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there’s a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability-a kind of synesthesia – where he can seethe ‘essence’ of a person, something he calls ‘shine/ on everything they’ve touched. His ability is known to only a few people – his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.
When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognises the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes – the mark of a sad face.
I loved the magical realism of this crime novel, it was what attracted me in the first place and it didn’t disappoint. It’s always fun when two genres that don’t often come together meet and this was well done.
Steps and his partner Jimmy were a great pairing, I’d have liked to see the personal side of their relationship explored further. We know why Steps does what he does but why does Jimmy? Why does he stick with Steps and how were they paired up in the first place?
It was mentioned that the two of them were ‘like brothers’ several times but we didn’t get to see much of that, what we got was professional Steps and Jimmy FBI agents which is great but a bit more rounding out of who they were would have been nice.
Some of the writing was a little rough in places however the story was good enough to carry it through.
Will I look out for the next one in the series – yes, but I won’t make a point of tracking it down (excuse the bad pun!)