When the savagely beaten body of a Muslim student is discovered in a rundown area of Newcastle, blame falls on the far right National Unity Party - but for once they appear to be innocent. In fact, with elections looming, they are poised to make significant gains. Not the best time for Trevor Whitman, ex-70s radical, to return to his native north-east. Haunted by his violent past, he's receiving death threats over the murder of a policeman years ago.
Joe Donovan is called in to investigate and before long the investigation takes a more dangerous turn as Donovan and his team find themselves the targets of a ruthless killer unlike any they have faced before. A killer who will do anything to ensure an explosive thirty-year-old secret remains buried, no matter who stands in his way...
An intelligent, fast-paced plot about radical groups orchestrating a race riot is only one highlight of Waites's superb third Joe Donovan thriller (after Bone Machine). In a thoughtful subplot, the British author suggests it's not shared beliefs that draw some to extremist organizations, but a sense of belonging and acceptance that these groups offer the lost, the displaced and the unloved. Newcastle PI Joe Donovan and his ragtag "information brokers" investigate who's behind threatening calls to a former '70s radical. The calls coincide with a Muslim student's savage murder that point to the far-right National Unity Party. But this thinly veiled white supremacist group appears to be innocent and is poised to win big during the upcoming election. Waites masterfully pulls together a cohesive story about fanatical politics filled with surprises and suspense. Fans of Mark Billingham, John Connolly and Ken Bruen will find much to like.