Soho, May 2008, $24.95
Reporter Len Curzon interviews a criminal in a local prison in what the journalist realizes is a waste of his time; he thinks of having a few drinks instead until he notices disgraced former politician Paul Deacon, convicted for the murder of Tony Keppel, son of a crime boss, with a beautiful woman who could not be more than thirty years old. Curious and sensing a story, he wonders if the female visitor who uses the name Ellen Shaw might be Grace Harper, who vanished two decades ago when she was eight years old.
At the Whistle, Curzon talks to former cop turned private investigator Harry Lind about his hunch. Harry is on his own paying case; nightclub owner Ray Stagg hired him to find his missing his brother-in-law Al because the man’s wife, his sister Denise, out of worry has nagged him to death. When Curzon is murdered, his journalist peer Jessica Vaughn convinces Lind that the cops got it wrong re Curzon’s death; it was premeditated not random.
This interesting crime caper takes readers on a fascinating look at the London criminal world through a large number of support players that bring depth and chaos to the engaging story line. Lind is a terrific protagonist who has his own issues, but with Jessica making him feel guilty and not just over Curzon’s death, he ignores his personal warning sirens and gets involved. With a strong cast, Roberta Kray sheds a deep spotlight on London’s “lost” population although that can slow down the action.