Street girls walk, street gangs war—it’s all business as usual, thinks DI Georgia Johnston, except for an unsettling surge in South London’s murder rate.
Three underage hookers are slaughtered within hours of each other. Has someone’s pathology gotten out of hand? Or is this the grisly aftermath of a major shift in gangland’s power structure? Is Yo-Yo Reilly, feared chieftain of the vicious Brotherhood gang (“And we all know sadism is his favorite pastime”) not quite as feared as he once was? These are gnarly questions with answers that branch out in multiple directions. So it makes sense for Georgia’s boss to call in an expert in gang warfare like DI David Dawes for aid and advice. But Georgia just plain doesn’t like or trust Dawes, a lack of sympathy noticeably mutual. Is it possible that her boss, whom she does like, and who begins the street-girl case by naming her senior officer in charge, is now having second thoughts? Georgia seems to find secrets, lies and hidden agendas wherever she turns. Nor does it help the least little bit when Lucy, the brave and brainy teenage daughter of a close friend and colleague, decides impetuously to consider police work as a career opportunity. She’s both dead right to do so and very nearly dead (literally) as a consequence.
Regan (Brotherhood of Blades, 2011, etc.) continues her sure-footed walk on the noir side. Entertaining stuff, but not for the fainthearted.