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This book is somewhat unlike other books I’ve read by this author, which usually feature some very strange and disturbed people. Well this book does too, but the reason is different, reflecting social unrest in a very poor part of London, called at that time Acid Row, mostly with single mother residents and children with much gang activity and drug activity. This story reminds me in some ways of Elizabeth George’s “What Happened Before He Shot her”, another book bearing on social issues and different from that author’s usual books. In this book, two incidents occurred simultaneously, which acted as a catalyst for a full-scale riot uncontrolled by the police for several hours. First, a ten-year-old girl went missing. She was living with her mother, who was living with a man and his two very unpleasant children. The teenager was supposed to be babysitting ten-year-old Amy and was being paid for it, but she paid no attention to Amy, and then Amy disappeared. At around the same time a pedaphile was released from jail and housed in one of the units in Acid Row, where there were many children. The presence of this man became known to the neighbors. Put together with the disappearance of a child from the neighborhood, a riot was born to “burn out the pervet.” A compelling book with several interesting neighbors who came through for the neighborhood when it counted. I think it’s one of Minette Walters’ best.
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