A lowly Detective Constable newly appointed to the Greater Manchester Police Force’s Counter Terrorism Unit follows her unpromising assignment to a nest of deadly terrorists.
Sgt. Jim Stephens, her ex-colleague and ex-lover, thinks Iona Khan got the plum assignment over him because of her skin tone. Iona, half-Scottish, half-Afghan, is determined to prove him wrong. Even though her introduction to her new position is the most routine chore imaginable—checking out the identity of a young foreigner who evidently used a false identity in cozying up to the Sub-Urban Explorers, a raffish group of amateurs who spend their spare time in the extensive network of tunnels beneath Manchester—she does her level best both to collect any evidence that might identify the man who calls himself Muttiah and to follow any leads that indicate he may be trouble. Iona succeeds so well in tying her quarry to both the murder of Law Lord Reginald Appleton in far-off Mauritius and the upcoming Labour Party convention in Manchester that she’s soon seeing threats everywhere. Jim is duly impressed. Not so for Supt. Paul Wallace, her boss at the unit, who waxes increasingly impatient at Iona’s independent streak. The day of the convention dawns to reveal an unexpected speaker whose presence will raise the stakes for everyone involved.
Simms (Cut Adrift, 2011, etc.) launches a new series with an appealing heroine whose every move, so surprising to her and her boss, seems eminently predictable by genre fans.