Description - Cradle Song by Robert Edric
An imprisoned paedophile and child murderer unexpectedly appeals his conviction. In return for a reduced sentence, he offers to implicate those involved in the crimes who were never caught; to provide evidence of Police corruption at the time of the original investigation; and, most importantly, to reveal where the corpses of several long-sought, but never found teenage girls are buried. Unhappy at what may be about to happen, but at the same time desperate to locate the body of his own missing daughter, the father of one of these girls approaches Private Investigator Leo Rivers with a plea for help. Rivers' enquiries stir cold and bitter memories. Long-dead enmities flare suddenly into violence and a succession of new killings. Everyone involved, then and now, and on both sides of the law, is unprepared for the suddenness and ferocity with which these old embers are fanned back into life. As the investigation progresses, it gathers momentum, and now must speed inexorably to the even greater violence and sadness of its conclusion.
The first of a trilogy of contemporary crime novels set in the city of Hull, Robert Edric's new novel is reminiscent of Chandler and Mosley, and yet remains uniquely British. Against the backdrop of Internet pornography, Police corruption and child murder, this dark and intense novel reads like a game of chess where each piece is invested with a deceptive significance.
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(199mm x 127mm x 27mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
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Book Reviews - Cradle Song by Robert Edric
US Kirkus Review »
In a taut and brooding thriller, Edric (Peacetime, 2004, etc.) follows a p.i. deep into the pit of depravity while investigating the case of a pedophilic serial killer. The northern English town of Hull is a charmless gray place that manages to find room for all that's bad about Britain (food and weather, for example) without admitting many of its virtues-and, lately, perversion and brutality have been stirred into the stew. Hull became infamous ten years before, when two children there killed a boy for no discernible reason. This atmosphere of nihilism and despair informs the narrative of Leo Rivers, a private investigator who is approached by James Bishop, the father of a teenaged girl who went missing some years back. Bishop's daughter Nicola has never been found, but when the notorious murderer and pornographer Martin Roper was convicted of a separate killing some years earlier, he claimed (with some pride but no proof) to have killed Nicola as well. Rumors are circulating that Roper is appealing his conviction, offering information on the whereabouts of Nicola and several other missing girls in exchange for his appeal, and Bishop wants Leo to find out what's going on. That turns out to be harder than you might think: Roper's trial was so lurid that most of it was conducted in a cleared courtroom, and much of the testimony is permanently sealed. It soon becomes apparent that there are more than a few people with an interest in keeping the case closed and forgotten. Leo tracks down the odd insider (press agents, prison guards, and others) willing to talk, but most of his usual sources seem to be stonewalling. When an old classmate of Nicola's is murdered not long after Leo interviews her, the case is suddenly hot again. But who is behind it? Marvelously paced and plotted: Edric's story builds momentum steadily from first page to final climax. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Robert Edric
Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (1985 James Tait Black Prize winner), A New Ice Age (1986 runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize), A Lunar Eclipse, The Earth Made of Glass, Elysium, In Desolate Heaven, The Sword Cabinet, The Book of the Heathen (shortlisted for the 2001 WH Smith Literary Award) and Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002). Cradle Song is the first book in the Song Cycle Trilogy, which is completed by Siren Song and Swan Song.