by Alan Jones
A father waits in Glasgow’s Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
When Bill’s daughter, Carol, doesn’t show up at Christmas time, Bill travels down from Glasgow to London in search of her. He gets to her flat and realises that she hasn’t been there for a while. he knows something is badly wrong but he can’t get the police to take him seriously.
At the start of the book the chapters alternate between Bill and the search for his daughter, and Carol’s back story of a shy girl with good friends, a promising career, a great future, and how that future crumbled and slipped through her hands like quicksand.
Without the help of the police Bill gets some small leads from one of Carol’s friends and then joins forces with the formidable Anna. Between the two they uncover the seediest side of London: drugs, trafficking and prostitution. A world where evil, corrupt men will do anything for money and power, and use women as nothing more than bartering tools.
The characters are well portrayed, especially the bad guys who are rich, smart and charismatic, but oh so ruthless.
Bill as the main character is a good man thrown into a set of circumstances that he could never have predicted and his journey through the book is both inspiring and heartbreaking. I loved the relationship he forged with Anna as the two tried to make sense of a world gone mad.
About the ending: I hated it, it was perfect, but I so didn’t want it.
This is the first book of Alan Jones that I have read but I will certainly be reading more.
Many thanks to the author for sending me a copy.
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