Silent Games: Alex Gray
“ The earth shook with an intense boom as the bomb exploded, splitting tree trunks and throwing every living creature skywards, a malevolent cloud following above the wood, casting debris hundreds of yards away.” Someone wanted to create this explosion, which would reverberate and create a noise so deafening that the carnage and end result will devastate others and the land before all was said and done. The land would never be the same and the group behind this explosion was just getting started.
That was in August of 2013 but before we leave that year we learn that Detective Superintendent Lorimer decides to attend his high school graduation the following year. This simple act of sending this invitation back would start a chain of events that would impact not only the lives of some unknown people but his own private life as well. The head of the reunion committee who happens to be an ex-girlfriend of his sent the invitation and the ramifications of this simple act will create an explosion equally as loud as the one in the wood.
Vivian Gilmartin was the head of the reunion committee and she was Lorimer’s ex-girlfriend what would soon ingratiate herself in his life in a way that would set him on a collision course that would take him down a dangerous slope. The reunion brought them together and Vivian made a point of spending too much time with Lorimer but after he leaves things start to sizzle a little too much as he returns home, she goes back to her flat and what she sees would startle and upset anyone.
Peter Alexander Macgregor was checking for his final instructions. Everything seemed to be in its place but just what was he really into and why?
The focus of the story deals with the upcoming Commonwealth Games that will take place in Glasgow. Detective Superintendent Lorimer has more than just these games to worry about as the scene at the start of the novel sets the stage for more attacks by a terrorist cell that has yet to be revealed and discovered. The first was the huge explosions in 2013 and Lorimer is now in charge of the investigation even though it’s not use unit but he’s enlisted to work with the counterterrorism force. Added in he decided to go it alone as spouses were not invited to attend his reunion and come face to face with Vivien or Foxy as she is called. Temptations rise from the moment he sees her and then after he leaves and returns home she calls him in a frantic panic that her husband, Charles is dead. He is a famous director and he was behind bringing African theater groups to Scotland but because of his death Vivien demands that his assistant cancel the engagements. Why? The ME finds that he was poisoned and it was not a heart attack. To make things more difficult for Lorimer the body of a young African woman is found with a spiral tattoo as the killer’s way of branding her so that everyone would know that she belonged to a special group that sold these poor young women into slavery. Hoping to find out who created the tattoo sends PC Kirsty Wilson along with her superior to several tattoo parlors to find out the meaning of the tattoo and something more about the identity of the body. Throughout the novel we learn about a serious sex-trafficking ring that housed young innocent Nigerian girls thinking they were sent here for another reason and the men that abused them would torture and hurt them if they dared to resist. One woman named Shereen Swanson was marked to take care of these girls and one young girl named Asa was her special charge. The purpose was to provide these girls to entertain as sex slaves for those coming for the games. The pressure was on for Lorimer to find out who was behind the deaths of three girls two homicides and one suicide. But, that was just the tip of the iceberg for Lorimer as Vivian became his houseguest making Maggie uncomfortable and you can tell by her actions that she had more on her mind when it came to him and Maggie tried to grin and bear it. Left alone with her at times she had to count to ten you might say before expressing herself in her own home which Vivian seemed to try and take over at times. Lorimer assigned someone else to take the lead in the case because he was too close to the situation. Maggie tried to be tolerant about Vivian but being astute she realizes that Vivien had her own agenda especially when she claimed she was scared, had nightmares and wanted him to stay with her in her bed for the night.
As the links form together and we hear the voices of those that created this sex trafficking ring we learn that there is more to the death of Charles than remains to be scene as the author shares information about him before he died.
Lorimer’s friend Solly Brightman and his wife Rosie the ME put it together using her skills to figure out the causes of deaths of these girls and the fact that Solly figured out the link between the Tatoos and the girls as a brand of ownership and the meaning of the tattoo related to the terrorist attacks.
A number and not a name referred to each member of this cell by the head of the organization called Clan MacGregor as stated by the author. Somehow Peter McGregor was involved but his wife as in the dark.
The primary goal was to make sure that the Commonwealth Games never happened and that they the group involved were no longer oppressed by the rich and powerful. This was a struggle of classes and their main thrust was FREEDOM for them and not being shackled by the government any longer. The Nigerian trafficking was a sideline of those involved in this organization.
Throughout the novel we get to know Vivien more and realize that her agendas varied and the fact that she seemed to want to remain with Maggie and William allows readers to know that she wanted to worm her way back into his bed and heart and leave Maggie out in cold. But, Gayle Finnegan worked at the Albion Street offices and did not know she was the object of someone watching her moves. The author then reflects on the bomb at the open of the Games at Parkhead Stadium that would signal and complete and utter contempt for the foreign regime that headed the country. Cameron Gregson was number 6 or called that and Gayle would be the next victim of this group.
No one can be trusted and no one is safe from this group but even worse Vivien has set in motion a plan more deadly that will destroy Maggie and William’s lives if she’s not stopped. After dealing with her and when Charles’s body is finally released and ready for burial Vivien moves out only to call Bill to her home and hoping to her bed to comfort her. Maggie sees something in Vivien and before she alerts bill she figures something out that is so simple that might lead to solving who poisoned him and why.
Solly relates what the tattoo means: It’s a female symbol: Maiden wife and Crone: An odd sort of thing to have tattooed on these girls who were sex slaves. FREEDOM is the alternative meaning and if you have the men behind this talk you’d know that this term means but these girls had no rights or freedom and yet it would help to identify them that they belonged to this group. But, when you realize the night of Charles’s death and he was at home dead from poison and they question someone named Okonjo you won’t believe what is revealed. Lorimer is smart and once he got his hands on the killer of the Celia and trafficking and imprisoning other girls his job was to find Asa. There are more players involved and some that are caught that escape and change their identities and a young girl named Leila who might help them find Asa but will she? Chapter 48 will bring all the players together and you will meet the leader of this cell and those that want to end tyranny as they see it, stop the games and make a point of their own about their definition of Freedom and Oppression. Money, greed, power, revenge, disloyalty, whims, martial strife, hate and terror are just some of what is at the root of who killed Charles and the terror cells. What role did Charles play in the sex trafficking? Who killed him and why? A simple action brings it all to light as Maggie figures out the truth but will Lorimer find a way to end it all? Vivien, Maggie, Bill a deadly triangle: Who will be the victor in the center of this triangle and who will take action to make sure that the games take place. SILENT GAMES: Girls whose lives were taken and stolen with men who created their own version of Silent Games TURNED DEADLY!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine