Angels weep by Colin Falconer

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Constable, 2020. ISBN: 9781472132703.
(Age: Senior secondary/adult) DI Charlie George and his team investigate the abduction of a young woman. Time is of the essence if they are to find her alive. Their workload is dramatically increased when there is another young woman taken off the street and orders are to assume the abductions are linked. The budget is stretched and very little sleep is had by the team as they desperately search for the two victims.
The second target is a young woman, Sarah Howlett, married to Danny, an investment banker. She seems to have a great life: handsome successful husband, beautiful home, a young child and a nanny to help with young Ollie. Danny however is controlling, abusive and has lost a huge amount of money trading illegally.
When the first victim is found alive but traumatised, elation is short lived. There is no second victim and there does not seem to be a link to Sarah Howlett, so the team must look with fresh eyes at the evidence they have.
Charlie George is well acquainted with dysfunctional families. He is the product of one. In the midst of his investigation a surprise seventieth birthday has been arranged for his mother who has dementia! His drug addled brother has been flown from Australia and has been billeted with him. He rarely sees his siblings and a family reunion at the care home is the last thing he needs as he struggles with his case load.
Sarah Howlett is hit by a car seemingly escaping from her husband who she claims is trying to kill her. She has injuries not all sustained in the traffic accident and is deeply traumatised. The husband Danny Howlett is nowhere to found and Sarah's father is furious that progress seems to have stalled.
Colin Falconer cleverly contrasts the social divides in London, and takes the reader into the lives of a fascinating range of London society. Most seem to be damaged goods in some way. There are not too many happy families in DI George's circle, including his own. Falconer is able to ramp up the intrigue with some unexpected twists and turns to deliver a thoroughly satisfying read.
Themes: Abuse, Abduction, Domestic violence, Crime, London.
Mark Knight