A serial killer is quietly collecting victims, along with their pension books and memorabilia. He loves the terror in the eyes of his dying victims, old ladies and nubile female students. He reaches climax as they expire. His crimes have gone undetected and his profession gives him access to new possibilities. The arrival of Detective Inspector Ally McCready in the Swansea police force starts a cat and mouse chase. When the killer, Norris, realises she is onto him, it becomes a cat and rat game for him.
But Ally has a past of her own, returning to work after a long sexual harassment case, which she won, creating tensions for the male staff she works alongside. She also has a defunct marriage and errant son.
Noble handles this mix deftly, providing a police procedural that is well informed and genuinely gripping. The nasty bits are written with verve, avoiding gratuitous horror while allowing a lot of suspense to build. The Deeds of the Devil is a thriller because the characters are believable and (mostly) likeable. With McCready we have a character who can return for further cases - as indeed she should, pitting her forensic psychology skills against the more plodding facts and evidence driven traditionalists.