About the Book
1980s Yorkshire. DI Paul Snow has a personal demon. He is a homosexual but is desperate to keep it secret, knowing it would finish his career in the intolerant police force. As this personal drama unfolds, he is involved in investigating a series of violent murders in the town. All the victims appear to be chosen at random and appear to have no connection with each other. After the fourth murder, he is removed from the case for not finding the killer but continues investigating the matter privately. Gradually, Paul manages to determine a link between the murder victims, but this places his own life in great danger. Can Paul unmask the killer as he wrestles with his own demons?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Blood Rites is the first book that I have read by David Stuart Davies. Set in Yorkshire in 1985 the lead character and investigating officer has a secret. He is homosexual but attitudes were different in the 1980s and if it became public he would be hounded out of the force. He has to solve a series of murders that have a link but he is struggling to prove it to his superior officers. All of the victims have done things that they shouldn’t have. A couple of them you don’t get to know but the ones you do are very unpleasant and their crimes are horrific. I think my heart broke over a couple of the people who suffered because of them. Thankfully there wasn’t too much focus on their actions.
I did have a lot of sympathy for Snow, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the serving police force who had to keep their sexuality hidden. His pain, guilt and confusion over his private life was one of the stronger parts of the novel.
I couldn’t really tell that it was set in the 1980s. Apart from the attitudes and the mention of fixed telephone lines it could be set any time and any place. When the murderer was revealed it wasn’t a huge shock but the ending definitely was. Just a little different and very clever. I would be very interested to see what happens next.
About the Book
SHE IS HUNTING FOR THE TRUTH, BUT WHO IS HUNTING HER? Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence. Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth …. and stay alive.
I was slightly dubious when starting Dancers in the Wind. The last few books I had read had all been at times difficult to read. But even though the storyline concerning prostitutes was gritty it was a quick and easy read.
Hannah is shocked when Princess turns up at her home in a life threatening condition. After providing medical assistance she reluctantly gives her a home, despite reservations. She has a young daughter and is worried about being in danger. But she agrees that she can stay and starts to think of her as Caroline rather than Princess, her street name. But Caroline does bring danger with her and Hannah has no idea of who she can trust.
What Anne does is ignore the popular image shown on a lot of TV drama of prostitutes stood on street corners wearing nice clothing and having perfect skin, hair and nails. Instead she shows a truer image of desperation, scared, emotionally and physically battered women who do what they do for any reason from paying the bills to paying for boarding school. But despite their hardships they were all very loyal to each other and wanted to help. Even if it put them at risk from their pimps or clients.
As I said earlier it is an easy book to read. Hannah is a very likeable person unlike the other characters that feature who have the same career. Some of the people she deals with are very unpleasant and she is shocked at the levels that they sink to when they have the power and the money.
I am pleased that there will be a follow up to this novel. I would be interested to see what Hannah gets involved in next.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.