On the Irish border, Inspector Celcius Daly investigates human trafficking and a scorched corpse
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is a rugged place: cold, windswept, and dark. For the girls brought here from Eastern Europe, it may as well be a war zone. Put to work in a farmhouse brothel near Dunmore, the women are forced into a living hell. One night, a pimp takes one of them for a ride. She is just planning her escape when the car explodes. The next morning, there is nothing left but the pimp’s charred body and the woman’s footprints in the snow.
As his forensics specialists turn their attention to the burned corpse, Police Inspector Celcius Daly obsesses over the footprints. Where exactly did the woman come from, and where did she go? It is the sort of question asked only in the borderlands—between North and South, between life and death.
Border Angels is the 2nd book in the Inspector Celcius Daly Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
The degradation of human trafficking is at the heart of Quinn's somber second novel featuring Northern Ireland's Insp. Celcius Daly (after 2012's Disappeared). Daly is called in after a badly burnt corpse is found in a car, the victim believed to be a Croatian pimp running a local brothel. The reader already knows that the death of the man, Sergei Kriich, was an accident, but the inspector soon has a genuine mystery to unravel. Jack Fowler, an affluent property developer with a weapon-dealing past, has been found floating in his swimming pool, with preliminary indications that he suffered a blow to the head before entering the water. Fowler's business dealings attracted the attention of the Fraud Squad, and he's also suspected of having swindled millions from the Northern Ireland peace fund by a shadowy figure who survived a hunger strike during the Troubles. The mystery of Fowler's death is compelling, but Quinn's most intriguing investigation concerns his examination of the toll taken on women forced into prostitution.