On a cold November night DS Dennis Milne is in the car park of the Traveller's Rest Hotel lying in wait for three unarmed men. But he has been duped and minutes later, innocent men are dead. Reeling from this discovery, he must get back out on the streets to search for a dangerous killer.
It's a typical cold November night and DS Dennis Mline, a very untypical policeman, is in the car park of the Traveller's Rest Hotel awaiting instructions to kill three unarmed men. Cynical and jaded, Milne likes to think that he's hurting only those who deserve it. But this time he's been duped. Instead of shooting drug dealers, he kills two respectable customs officers and an accountant, their deaths starting off an investigation that sees him, his sideline and his conscience heading for trouble. Less than twelve hours later Milne is out on the streets of London's King's Cross trying to solve a gruesome murder. Eighteen-year-old Miriam Fox has been found dead by Regent's Canal - her throat slashed. Determined to right a monstrous wrong, Milne trawls the murky world of street kids and the teenage vice trade. But his persistent enquiries soon implicate fellow police officers, and the mysterious Carla Graham, manager of the hostel where Miriam once stayed. Increasingly desperate to find Miriam's killer, Milne uncovers a web of depravity far more shocking than he could ever have imagined. Can he evade arrest for his own crimes and solve a case so sickening that it may provide the key to his own redemption? The clock is ticking and everyone's watching their backs as a war of morality is fought in the mind of one renegade policeman.
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DS Dennis Milne is a hard 'hero' to like. A jaded policeman, he has been corrupted and turned himself into an avenging angel on those he feels are unworthy of life. But one job goes wrong. He's duped into killing three innocent men in cold blood and, as his contrary morals kick in, finds himself out of his depth in a world of drug dealers, pornographers, and organised crime. At the same time his 'day' job must continue on the right side of the law - the hunt for a killer of young prostitutes - and an innocent facade must be maintained. The dual storyline is cleverly brought together by Simon Kernick, in this his first crime novel. Whilst at the same time as despising Milne for his vigilante violence, Kernick drags the reader into his unsatisfactory personal life till something akin to sympathy is felt and an overwhelming urge for him to triumph over adversity - even if it is unlawful in the extreme. Tightly paced and twisting at every turn, the plot rushes through to the climactic end, keeping the reader on their toes until the final page is turned. A surprisingly good read. - Lucy Watson
About Simon Kernick
Simon Kernick is in his thirties, and lives with his wife and young daughter near London. His first novel is The Business of Dying.
The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick
Used - Very Good
Transworld Publishers Ltd
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