‘Reginald Hill writes brilliantly throughout, creating memorable characters with chiselled skill’
‘Reginald Hill stands head and shoulders above any other writer of homebred crime fiction’
When a four year old child is abducted from an Essex kindergarten, Detective Inspector Dog Cicero soon realizes that this is to be no routine investigation. Something about the child’s mother troubles him. Maybe it’s just the fact that she comes from Derry, and Cicero’s Northern Ireland scars go deeper than his ruined face. But he feels there’s more to it than that.
Why, for instance, is Superintendent Toby Tench leaving his devious Special Branch footprints all over Cicero’s Romchurch patch? And why does he want the courts to release Jane Maguire on bail after she makes an incriminating confession?
Tench plays his cards close to his chest, and Cicero finds the odds are stacked against him both personally and professionally – not that he will let that stop him. For Dog’s a gambling man, and when death’s the only game in town, a gambling man has got to play.
“He [Reginald Hill] is first and foremost an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaeous storytelling gift”
FRANCES FYFIELD, 'Mail on Sunday'
“One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists”
FIRST PUBLISHED AS A PATRICK RUELL NOVEL--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.