drug-smuggling, people-trafficking – you might be forgiven for thinking
that this is another run-of-the-mill, sleazy, tedious cops-and-robbers
effort. But it is far from that.
This is a novel, almost casually involved with
crime. It gripped me from the first, and I read it in one 5-hour
enthralling session, with only a brief pause for tea. The descriptions of
the setting, Yorkshire at its bleakest, the characters, were so subtly
slipped in that I absorbed them subliminally.
A questing dog has sniffed out a dead girl in an
abandoned refreshment van, and its young owners have dragged PCSO Sean
Denton to see it. Sean is a very newly-recruited Police Community Support
Officer, who is anxious to do things right. Having "called in" (police
procedure is obviously well-researched) he is joined by the team led by DCI
Barry "Burger" King, over-weight and full of himself. This the first
strand of the narrative. There is an agency for helping foreign
visitors with immigration problems, where Karen Friedman works. Karen's brother
Philip is missing, He works as a casual driver for Johnny McKenzie. Two
more strands. More characters: Lizzie Morrison, a "posh"
PC: the Moyos, facing extradition, – but don't be put off, they are
introduced casually and gradually.
Throughout the narrative there are odd chapters
headed with times through Bonfire Night, the signification, of which I
hope you will grasp more quickly than I did. For this reason, among others, I am
now reading this excellent book again.