By (author) Debi Alper
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Trading Tatiana by Debi Alper
Book DescriptionJo Cooper leads an uneventful life, selling jewellery on a Greenwich market stall, babysitting her neighbours' kids, and trying not to pay too much attention to the noises made by the S&M devotees who live next door. Home for Jo is a top floor flat in the Old Kent Road council block, Boddington Heights. An ex-drug-addict herself, she has a penchant for rescuing people: waifs and strays, a Ukranian refugee whose cause she champions and the man in buttock-less leather trousers she finds chained to the roof of her building But Jo's white-knight tendencies land her in trouble when a day-trip to Brighton ends with her helping a frightened girl to escape from some Russian thugs. The mysterious woman overturns Jo's life, plunging her into the world of illegal immigration and prostitution, where human lives are ruthlessly traded, and violence and distrust are rife. But just who exactly is it that Jo has saved? Is she Irena, a circus performer with the Flying Poliakovs, or Tatiana, a teenage prostitute, betrayed by her brother and on the run from a dangerous gang? Either way, her arrival in Boddington Heights means that Jo's life will never be the same again.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780297829911
(233mm x 153mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 13-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
US Kirkus Review » An ex-heroin addict comes to the aid of a sex-trade victim in England. British author Alper (Nirvana Bites, 2004) presents a quirky, less traditional portrait of contemporary England, as seen from the 20th floor of a grim high-rise in one of London's seedier neighborhoods. But her story is less slice-of-life, more comic thriller. Her heroine, Jo Cooper, is a former drug addict now piecing her life back together-she makes jewelry, gardens and acts as sales assistant to Smokey Pete, an agoraphobic candle-maker. Jo's life is an emotional void-almost no friends, no lovers, no past other than drugs. After rescuing a man dangling from a roof, a deed for which she is rewarded with a gift of (UKP)500, she treats herself to an outing to Brighton. Along the way she meets Tatiana, a young Ukrainian on the run from thugs who have pressed her into prostitution. Tatiana steals Jo's money and vanishes, opening Jo's eyes to the underclass of immigrant women. Later Tatiana resurfaces, beaten up and terrified of going outdoors. When she does, she is chased, but she escapes, demonstrating an impressive range of athletic ability. It turns out that Tatiana is really a one-time circus acrobat named Irina. In an effort to help her, Jo turns to her old drug counselor Mags, who lives in a commune. Mags and her friends install the woman at Smokey Pete's apartment while plans are made to spirit her out of the country. But before they can leave for Amsterdam, the omnipresent baddies firebomb the place. A disappointing lightweight. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Debi Alper
Debi Alper lives in South London with her young family. She is a finance officer at London Advice Services Alliance and a part-time wedding photographer. Trading Tatiana is her second novel.
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