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Smith, Anna - 'The Dead Won't Sleep'
Paperback: 304 pages (Oct. 2011) Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc ISBN: 0857384929

Anna Smith has been a journalist for more than 20 years. This book is the first in her series featuring tabloid journalist Rosie Gilmour and smacks you with one thunderbolt after another, right between the eyes, from page one through to the end. Smith's writing style, and the way the storyline develops, in THE DEAD WON'T SLEEP is excellent. But the subject of the investigations that Anna and her colleagues carry out is shocking and leaves you feeling raw, though not necessarily in a nice way.

In brief, a decomposing body is washed up on a beach near Glasgow. The body belongs to 14 year old Tracy Eadie - already a drug addict and prostitute, despite her tender years. She went missing some six months earlier, after going on the run from the children's home that she was living in. The first part of the plot that really grabs you round the throat is not the fact that she had been on a boat with three punters, but the fact that these punters were extremely senior police officers, who simply tossed her dead body into the water.

Rosie is contacted by Mags, a former friend of Tracy and herself an on-the-game junkie, who has important information about the night the youngster went missing. It is hard hitting material and Rosie is pretty moved by what she hears. Determined to tell the story and expose the guilty parties, she soon discovers that some people don't want their secrets out in the open. Rosie is moved to a safe house as the net closes in around her and she must risk everything in order to have the perfect copy.

Although this story shocked and, at times, downright horrified me, I loved it. It is a fairly easy read but well-crafted and captivating. Rosie Gilmour is a welcome addition to the small group of strong female characters in today's crime fiction. I am looking forward to getting to know her better!

Highly recommended.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
October 2011

Amanda blogs at
Old Dogs and New Tricks.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 27/07/2014 08:32