Sunday, 29 May 2016

When Half Spent Was the Night (A Mick Chandra Mystery) - Rebecca Yount

Browsing in a boutique in Camden Market is the last place Erika Livoni expected her sister Katarina to disappear, but that's exactly what occurred.

Frightened and panicked she calls the police. What has happened to her? They were in the UK from Estonia with high hopes of making a new life in London. What if the worst has taken place? How can she face their mother?

In steps Detective Chief Inspector Mick Chandra. With a reputation for closing the toughest of cases, along with his trusted partner, Inspector Elizabeth Chang, they are seconded to the Clubs and Vice Division. Unfortunately, that means working with Matt Miles - someone neither of them like. However, with a young woman's life on the stake, differences be damned.

As the task force of the three top guns in their field begin their investigations, they uncover that it's not just the Albanians that have SoHo under their claim but there may be links to the Russian mafia. Yet what's even more frightening is a possible link to the Home Office. But this piece of information came from a reluctant witness. Can the police trust the word of a woman who has been enslaved? Will they be able to find Katarina before she's no longer of any use (as a sex-slave)?

Perhaps due to it's seedier side of crime, I didn't immediately take to the subject matter of the story. It made me uncomfortable to think of women being sex-slaves, being tortured by their 'pimps'. But it's an unfortunate reality. However, Yount's novel, whilst harrowing a subject matter, brings in touches of light-heartedness making it a palatable read.

New readers will immediately like the chief inspector, his wife and all his friends and colleagues. Those familiar with the Yard's duo will find another thrilling, if disturbing, story. A highly recommended read.

Read my other reviews...Death In C Minor, The Erlking, The Ravenhoe Cauldron,The Oracle of Baal plus an interview with the author and her main character Mick Chandra.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author to review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.

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