Synopses & Reviews
Detective Inspector Jack Lennon of the Belfast Police has watched the developing cooperation between Northern Ireland's Loyalist gangs and immigrant Lithuanian criminals with unease. The Lithuanians traffic women from Eastern Europe and Asia for the Loyalists' brothels, and they're all making big money in spite of the recession that has stopped Northern Ireland's peace boom in its tracks. Lennon has a more intimate knowledge of the city's brothels than he'll ever admit, but the surge in trafficked girls makes him question his lifestyle, especially considering he has his daughter, Ellen, to care for now.
When a Lithuanian trafficker turns up dead on Christmas Eve with a shard of glass embedded in his throat, Lennon's plans to spend the holiday with Ellen are put in jeopardy. The dead man was the younger brother of a ruthless Lithuanian crime boss, Arturas Strazdas, and the young Ukrainian woman who killed him has escaped her captors. Now Strazdas holds the Loyalists responsible and won't let up until everyone involved has paid. A bloody gang war erupts across the city.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Belfast, Galya, the Ukrainian girl, is running for her life, alone and scared, clinging to the darkest corners as the frozen streets empty for the holiday. Galya's captors told her how the police deal with illegal immigrants, that she is a criminal in a foreign land, and the law will not help her. And now she is also a murderer. She cannot be discovered by anyone, not the cops, not the gang who held her prisoner. There is only one person she can go to: a man she met on her first day as a prostitute, a friend who gave her a crucifix and an address to run to if she ever got away. He'd saved four prostitutes before her, he's told her, and she can be his fifth. But when Galya arrives at the address, she finds something more evil than she had ever imagined.
"At the start of Neville's accomplished third thriller featuring Belfast Det. Insp. Jack Lennon (after Collusion), Galya Petrova, a 19-year-old Ukrainian girl, kills Tomas Strazdas, brother of notorious Lithuanian crime boss Arturas Strazdas, in self-defense. When Tomas's body turns up near the harbor with that of a wounded harbor cop, it's just the beginning of the carnage. Bent on revenge, Arturas instructs his men to find and kill Galya. The action shifts between Jack's investigation into Tomas's murder and the frantic flight of Galya, who had been sold into prostitution by the Strazdas brothers' front company that allegedly employs immigrant laborers. Jack also gets on the trail of the hit men under Arturas's command, who are cutting a bloody swath across the city, as well as the dirty cops in his own department. When Galya's would-be rescuer turns out to be a greater threat than the Lithuanian thugs, Neville slowly ratchets up the tension and the violence until each page practically twangs with suspense." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Galya Petrova travels to Ireland on a promise that she will work for a nice Russian family, teaching their children English. Instead, she is dragged into the world of modern slavery, sold to a Belfast brothel, and held there against her will.
She escapes at a terrible cost—the slaying of one of her captors—and takes refuge with a man who offers his help. As the traffickers she fled scour the city for her, seeking revenge for their fallen comrade, Galya faces an even greater danger: her savior is not what he seems. She is not the first trafficked girl to have crossed his threshold, and she must fight to avoid their fate.
Detective Inspector Jack Lennon wants a quiet Christmas with his daughter, but when an apparent turf war between rival gangs leaves bodies across the city, he knows he won't get it. As he digs deeper into the case, he realizes an escaped prostitute is the cause of the violence, and soon he is locked in a deadly race with two very different killers.
About the Author
Stuart Neville is the author of two previous books, Collusion and The Ghosts of Belfast, winner of the 2010 LA Times Book Prize and the Spinetingler Award for Best First Novel, and a finalist for the Macavity Award, the Barry Award, and Anthony Award for Best First Novel. He lives in Armagh, Northern Ireland.