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by Lesley Horton
Orion, June 2003
326 pages
10.99 gbp
ISBN: 0752846736

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Officially, there is no child prostitution in Bradford but young girls are being killed and raped post mortem. DI John Handford is returning home from a night out with his wife, Gill, when he passes young PC Martin, who looks distressed. He goes down the alley and finds the body of a young teenage girl arranged on the trash bags. This is the 4th such murder in the last 5 months.

DCS Susan Forrester is called out on the case. Her husband, Tony, does not appreciate that his wife is a high ranking police officer and must be on call. She does not appreciate his lack of respect for her position. But she goes to the scene and finds another dead girl. This time, however, a purse had been hidden in her clothing, and Susan finds an old photo. The man in the photo looks vaguely familiar, and Handford, who stayed at the scene, identifies it as an old picture of his DCI, Stephen Russell.

At about the same time, Clarissa Braintree finds the body of her son hanging. And also that evening, DI Russell and his wife Natasha, are the hosts at a party in their home. Russell got there late, but City Councilor Andrew Collingham arrives even later.

Handford is ordered to look into his boss' background. He doesn't want to but he heads for the Yorkshire Dales after informing his sergeant, Khalid Ali part of the story, He also tells Ali not to have his regular weekly family dinner with Deepak Azum, a businessman and philanthropist.

This is the second in the series set in Bradford, England. There is a prevailing theme of racism throughout both books. Handford and Gill have become friendly with Ali and his wife and family, but interracial friendships are still the exception in this former mill town. The interrelationships among the characters are well developed, and if the people and locations are more interesting than the procedural part of this book, it is still a book worth searching out. Have your favorite local bookseller get a copy for you.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, July 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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