In a town riddled with racial tension, Detectives Zigic and Ferreira from the Hate Crimes Unit are under pressure to find the killer.
But when a car ploughs into a bus stop early one morning, the Detectives have another case on their hands, and soon the media are hounding them for answers.
Riots break out, the leader of right-wing party steps into the spotlight, and Zigic and Ferreira must act fast – before more violence erupts.
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The staff at Stoley's Boatyard were used to holidaymakers returning their pleasure cruisers a little late after a week or so exploring the network of waterways around Norchester. They were not used to finding their yachts burned almost beyond recognition with the charred remains of a client still aboard.
Taking on the murder investigation, Chief Inspector George Gently faces an enquiry like no other he has ever handled. Somewhere beneath the lies of the victim's wife, somewhere obscured by the brittle edge of her daughter's fear, somewhere hidden by her son's hysteria, lies the truth.
Gently's only hope is to sweep aside the litter of chaos and confusion to uncover the identity of the killer.
The Chief Inspector George Gently Case Files
The unflappable Inspector George Gently has become a household name through the hit BBC TV series starring Martin Shaw. These are the original books on which the TV series was based, although the George Gently in Alan Hunter's whodunits is somewhat different to his TV counterpart. He is more calculating, more analytical, and his investigations are even more enthralling.
A five-mile stretch of arrow-straight road outside Latchford acts like a magnet to beatnik bikers using the road like a drag strip. When one of the bikers is killed in an accident, most people regard it as an inevitable consequence of the kids using drugs and racing bikes for kicks. But the evidence points to the young man's death being something more sinister than a mere accident and George Gently is drawn into a world populated by disaffected teenagers, with a jazz soundtrack and a background of murder.
Praise for Alan Hunter's Gently books:
'It is always a pleasure to look forward to another Gently book by Alan Hunter ...' Police Review
Both cases become stranger when Wesley realises they are linked to a sinister manhunt, mirroring events from the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Why did the teenage victims take part in an online game called Blood Hunt, which they were eventually persuaded to play for real?
Then a skeleton is found near the place where the dead teenagers were last seen alive and Wesley finally has to face a terrible truth . . . and a hunt to the death.
The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.
With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.
Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal...
DS Ferreira is back on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty. The first case to land on her desk takes her and DI Zigic to a brutal crime scene where a woman has been stabbed to death and her disabled daughter left to starve upstairs.
The murdered woman is Dawn Prentice – a woman who had come to Ferreira for help when she and her daughter were being subjected to harassment.
As Ferreira battles her demons and Zigic clashes with another officer, the detectives realise that the Prentice case rests on one crucial question – who was the real target of the killer: mother or daughter?
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'A hard-boiled, fast-paced mystery with a tight ring of suspects'
'The authority of Dolan's writing grows from book to book'
No witnesses, no fingerprints - only a positive ID of the victim as an immigrant with a long list of enemies.
Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are called in from the Hate Crimes Unit to track the killer, and are met with silence in a Fenland community ruled by slum racketeers, people-trafficking gangs and fear.
The clock is ticking.
But nobody wants to talk.