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Devils in the Mirror [Paperback]

Lesley Horton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 May 2006

It's Halloween and a body has been found at Druids Altar, a local beauty spot high on Harden Moor. The victim is Shayla Richards, a young black girl, and the post-mortem reveals she was suffocated and sexually assaulted; photographs of her body at the crime-scene suggest a ritual sacrifice.

DI John Handford and DS Khalid Ali soon discover that Shayla's past is anything but straightforward. Over a year before her death, she accused a teacher of a sexual attack while in school. Although the teacher was suspended, the case collapsed when it came to trial.

Then events take a more sinister turn when Handford discovers his prime suspect seems to be a man without a past. In fact, he doesn't even appear to exist...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752865765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752865768
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Excellent mystery tale. (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Gritty, Bradford-based crime from the hugely talented author of ON DANGEROUS GROUND.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet! 14 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lesley Horton just goes on getting better and better! "Devils in the Mirro" is a complete story in itself, but for those who have followed Handforth, Khalid and Warrender before, we learn more and more about their backgrounds, chacters and the difficulties they and their families face. Lesley Horton knows her gritty northern towns so well, you can almost smell the dirt, the take-aways and the multi-racial chatter of the inhabitants. She knows her girls, too. Kerry is, sadly, so true to life, as is her uncle, and Shayla's family. I just can't wait for the next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devils in the Mirror 21 Aug 2011
I bought a second-hand book for 1p. It was in excellent condition.

The story was good, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Devils etc. 31 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I live in Yorkshire as does Lesley Horton, so
am familiar with the locations, which somehow makes the story more" believable.", good storylines
and well written
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives ruined by crime - and not just the criminals 11 April 2006
Police procedurals usually suffer from a lack of flow. That horrible bit in the middle of the book where the police are nibbling nails or going round in circles. I defy anyone to find any lack of PACE (geddit?)in this un-putdownable book! Even when you have put it down the images will stay with you haunting and unhappy.Thank goodness D I Handford isn't dysfunctional! More a Wexford.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the moors 20 Sep 2006
By Beverley Strong - Published on
The body of Shayla, a teenaged schoolgirl is found on a large rock on Harden Moor, a local beauty spot in the north of England, with her limbs arranged as though for a ritual sacrifice. An autopsy reveals that Shayla had been suffocated after being raped repeatedly and the locals believe that one of her teachers was somehow involved. A year previously, Shayla had accused one of her teachers, Graham Collins, of sexual assault but had backed down and admitted to lying. Collins name was cleared but the school board still kept him on suspension for the year and he was becoming increasingly agitated that his teaching career might be over. Shayla had been a member of a gang of girls who habitually played truant from school and who had become very adept at bag snatching at the local malls and were becoming more violent as they continued to avoid being caught by the police. Detective Inspector John Handford and his colleague Detective Sergeant Khalid Ali investigate anyone who was connected to Shayla in any way, and are puzzled to be unable to find any background to Graham Collins before his teaching days. It's a very good read with crime, racial hatreds and prejudices all getting in the way of what should have been a more straight forward crime solving and I'm looking forward to more stories involving DI Handford and his team who are a story in themselves.
5.0 out of 5 stars A police procedural with lots of depth. 4 Feb 2010
By Cathy G. Cole - Published on
First Line: Eleven forty-five on the last day of October.

It's almost midnight on Halloween when firefighters find the body of young Shayla Richards out on the moor. Photographs taken at the scene suggest that it might be ritual sacrifice. When Detective Inspector John Handford and Detective Sergeant Khalid Ali begin their investigation, they learn that Shayla had been at the center of another police investigation that had very disturbing implications. As more and more people are interviewed, it also appears that Shayla was a compulsive liar. Just what is truth and what fiction in this young girl's death?

This series first came to my attention because it is set in Bradford, England. A very long time ago, I had ancestors living outside Bradford, and I've visited the city twice now. It is known for having a large Asian population, and in fact you can drive through sections of Bradford and never dream you were in England. So... the setting is what first came to my attention.

The second thing to come to my attention when reading this series was Horton's depiction of the very sensitive issues of race and religion that the police have to face in Bradford on a day-to-day basis. Her main character Detective Inspector John Handford knows what it's like to be accused of being racist. Having dodged that particular bullet, the powers-that-be seem to have a perverse sense of humor-- assigning a Muslim detective sergeant to Handford. Both are very prickly individuals for entirely different reasons, and it's been interesting to see them learn to work together as the series progresses.

A potential powder keg of a setting. Two extremely strong-willed characters who don't always see eye-to-eye. Investigations involving unfamiliar cultures and lots of hard work "by the book". Yes, I have been enjoying this series, but Devils in the Mirror ratcheted everything to a completely new level and wound up knocking my socks off.

Horton shakes up things with her characters in this one. Not content to leave everything to her mainstays, Handford and Ali, she brings in the controversial Detective Constable Warrender and Handford's own wife who teaches in the school where Shayla Richards was a student. As the investigation continues, the lives of the troubled teenagers who were Shayla's friends come to light, as well as the lives of their parents. One by one, suspects are brought into the spotlight and either eliminated or made into persons of interest.

This is one of the most densely layered, satisfying police procedurals I've read in a long, long time. There are a lot of characters to be found in Devils in the Mirror, but none of them hit a false note and none are surplus to requirements. Everyone matters in this book. Everyone contributes a piece to the puzzle. With the large cast and all the individual threads to the plot, you might think that this book would be very confusing, but it's not in the least. Devils in the Mirror requires a large canvas because it's not just about the murder of a young girl. It's also about everyone who had a hand in creating these "throwaway" children, and just what is thrown away and irretrievably lost as a result.

Horton's book works on so many levels: a complex, satisfying plot; multi-faceted, real characters; hard, unrelenting, dogged police work; and sensitive social issues. Halfway through the book, I was in awe. I wanted to slow down and savor each paragraph; I wanted to gulp it down as fast as I possibly could.

I settled for a sedate sprint. You see, I have the next two books in this series sitting on a shelf not very far away. If that sounds a bit smug, it is!
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