Alex Gray: A Pound of Flesh
Walking the streets at night many girls find that this is the only way they can make a living even though as they are about to find out just how deadly a game they are playing with their lives. Prostitution is not new in this area in Glasgow nor anywhere else in the world where young girls and sometimes even older find themselves selling their wares you might say to attract men of all sorts and types hoping to score big with the next punter as they are called. Someone else has murder on his/her mind and the lure is anyone driving a white Mercedes convertible. Men stop this person and find themselves facing a deadly and unfeeling killer whose purpose it is to revenge of the death of her lover Carol as she relives the scene that she saw every day.
Matthew Wardlaw was one of the unfortunate men who decided to venture out on his wife and wound up as a victim of this diabolical killer who did not know if he was the real killer but he drove the wrong car. Bad judgment is definitely a flaw within the results is you will learn in many of the minor and major characters within this complex novel. DC Barbara Knox wants to impress her new superior, Detective Superintendent Lorimer with her ability to be though and when joining the Special Crimes Unit she wants to play an important role in solving the two murder cases. Carol Kilpatrick was killed and seriously mutilated and when the killer or her lover recalls how she viewed her rage within her became more acute. The prologue introduces this person in a graphic way as the first male falls prey to her wiles not realizing that cheating on your spouse can be deadly as others will learn. Maggie Lyons and Jennifer Steele were next and although their murders seem similar the first does not. Detective Superintendent Lorimer faces the problem of how to handle the case and who should work it along with him.
Psychologist Solly Brightman is a character that is bright, astute and one that I hope the author keeps bringing back in order to keep Lorimer focused and centered.
Carol was raped and stabbed and when Lorimer presented the information to Brightman they talked about DNA and other evidence as Solly began to form his own profile of the killer. Carol’s parents disowned her and did not want anything to do with her since taking to the streets and using heroin. When Lorimer meets with them they don’t seem upset, cold and distant and really could care less about the death of their child. Miriam Lyons was next and was left to drown in the water and her family of the Jewish faith was sad as she was once a perfect child turned bad. Jenny Haslet was next and all of the victims were raped and brutalized by the killer. Tracey-Anne-Geddes’s murder appeared to be the work of the same person that killed the other three. But, things get tense when Deputy First Minister Edward Pattison falls prey to our female killer and the chief constable now wants this as Lorimer’s team’s top priority and is breathing down his neck and will continue until the case if solved. The did not want Pattison to be treated like everyone else and the fact that he had already diverted so much of Serious Crimes resources into the prostitute murders had been tossed aside by the Chief. DI Sutherland was part of the case and seems like a thorn in Lorimer’s side. Pattison’s wife is keeping quiet and not saying anything as per her lawyer but Lorimer can tell she is definitely hiding something. Catherine Pattison and Hardy were an item and although he’s married it meant nothing to either of them to have secret meetings. When this came out the entire complexion of the case changed and maybe that’s why he was killed. Meeting Lily a street girl Lorimer hoped that she might have seen something as she related her first experience to him, took his card and he hoped that she would call if in trouble. Lily is a sweet young and innocent girl who feels she has no choice but to get money the old fashioned way as they say. But, the community provides the Big Blue Bus for those in need of counseling, help and a place to stay all they have to do is get on the bus when they see it and take a ride to the center for help.
Carol Kilpatrick and Tracey Ann Geddes were both attacked and the driver was driving a white Mercedes convertible. Lily Winters was almost attacked by a man wielding a scarf and possibly the same person who attacked and killed both Miriam Lyons and Jenny Haslet. The White Mercedes seems to be the key to how these men were killed.
Solly explained that violence might be tolerated and accepted by some of the women in order to make money and abuse is definitely high up in the issues brought to light in this novel. His profile of the killer led them to realize that the killer might not be a man but who was killing the women and why? Were the two related?
Doreen Gallagher was an older prostitute that was auditioning in front of one person for a job that most would not rather get but she did. When Lily came to try out she was sent away for being too young. DC Barbara Knox was checking out and copying information that she was not supposed to have and yet wanted to leak some to Diana Yeats a freelance reporter that was really someone else. Falling for her and thinking she was helping her get this story and wanting to feel useful to Lorimer what she winds up doing will shock her and readers if she gets caught.
The police are getting calls from call dealerships and others about people selling off their white Mercedes convertibles and DC Knox decides to explore one on her own. But, what she does not realize is that when she decides to want to buy one of these that the person who will show her around will do much more than that and she might not live to leak anything another day.
Sacha worked for a man named Vladimir and loved to check out the weapons he had and adored the assortment of guns and more. But, why so fascinated with guns and possibly much more. DC Knox enters and asks about car hire as they call car services but what she gets is anything but what she expected in return. While Solly and Lorimer go over the evidence along with another officer, Lorimer at one of his press conferences sees a woman whose presence bothers him but cannot figure out why.
Maggie Lorimer enjoyed teaching classes but often had to deal with her husband’s absence due to his new position and the nature of these cases. Barbara Knox was secure but not at the station and when they realize she is late the entire team needs to ban together and figure out what happened to her since she’s never late. Revenge, hate, murder, bad choices, lack or judgment and the desire to move up and be on top are just some of the issues that author Alex Gray brings to light in many of the characters in different ways in this book. The final scene will haunt you and places Lorimer in danger but not before Maggie created and set up a special surprise 40th for her husband but the outcome would be one that no one will ever forget. Placing himself in harms way and going after two killers Lorimer realizes that he knows the woman that attended the press conference as SIO Helen James was in charge of this case but needed an emergency operation and she had to sit out most of the time even thought kept apprised of the situation. When the killer is revealed it would take its toll on her and when the ending comes just who would be left continuing on? Two killers come face to face would either survive to kill another day? Bad choices can be fatal? Punters beware you never know who you might pick up and you might wind up being the killers POUND OF FLESH! Once again author Alex Gray puts readers to the test trying to figure out who’s guilty, why and the final surprise and exceptionally well-choreographed ending.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine