Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin EPUB
'He didn't have to be normal, the boy realised. He just had to pretend.'
It's winter in Melbourne, and Detective Emmett Corban is starting to regret his promotion to head of the Missing Persons Unit, as the routine reports pile up on his desk.
So when Natale Gibson goes missing, he's convinced this is the big case he's been waiting for - the woman's husband and parents insist the devoted mother would never abandon her children, and her personal accounts remain untouched.
But things aren't all they seem. The close-knit Italian family is keeping secrets - none bigger than the one Natale has been hiding.
Just as the net seems to be tightening, the investigation is turned on its head. The body of a woman is found...then another.
What had seemed like a standard missing person's case has turned into a frightening hunt for a serial killer, and time is running out.
But to really understand these shocking crimes, Emmett and his team will need to delve back through decades of neglect - back to a squalid inner-city flat, where a young boy is left huddling over his mother's body....