When the savagely beaten body of a Muslim student is discovered in a rundown area of Newcastle, blame falls on the far right National Unity Party - but for once they appear to be innocent. In fact, with elections looming, they are poised to make significant gains. Not the best time for Trevor Whitman, ex-70s radical, to return to his native north-east. Haunted by his violent past, he's receiving death threats over the murder of a policeman years ago. Joe Donovan is called in to investigate. After the death of a supposed would-be suicide bomber, the investigation takes a more dangerous turn as Donovan and his team find themselves the targets of a ruthless killer unlike any they have faced before. A killer who will do anything to ensure an explosive 30-year-old secret remains buried. Anything - no matter who stands in his way. Anything - even orchestrating a brutal race war that will tear the city apart.
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(178mm x 111mm x 1mm)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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US Kirkus Review »
Joe Donovan's team of "information brokers" unravels a tangle of violent crimes that threaten to trigger a race war.Now that former Newcastle cop Peta Knight is back to freelancing after the dissolution of her investigation company Albion (Bone Machine, 2008, etc.), charismatic 1970s radical Trevor Whitman hires her to find out who's been barraging him with threatening phone calls. Peta takes the assignment reluctantly because she suspects duplicitous Trevor of sleeping with her mother, Lillian. Meanwhile, racial tensions rise in the area when Sooliman Patel, a young Muslim student, is set on fire and tossed out of a car. Members of the neo-Nazi National Unity Party are suspected of the crime. A trio of troubled teenagers living on the street provide a view of skinhead culture, an underworld of drugs, unstable living and sex for sale. When young Kev lets his best friend Jason run away when Kev can't follow through on the knife attack that would constitute a skinhead initiation, Jason, who calls himself The Butcher Boy, reconnects with Jamal, a very young Albion alumnus whose skin color now puts him in additional danger. Donovan and Amar Miah, the fourth and final member of Albion, follow new leads in the heartbreaking case of Donovan's missing son. At length these simmering plotlines converge with shocking impact.Waites's robust storytelling keeps the tale afloat through an early tangle of tenuously connected threads. Though the pitch may be too feverish for some, the climax will pay off for the engaged. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Martyn Waites
Born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Martyn Waites worked as a professional actor before becoming a writer. A former Writer in Residence at Huntercombe Young Offenders' Institution and HMP Chelmsford, he currently runs arts-based workshops for socially excluded teenagers.