Our pick this week:
Bad Blood by Amanda Coetzee
Publisher: Pan Macmillan South Africa
Publication Date: February 2011
Blending in everywhere; belonging nowhere ...
An eight-year-old boy is abandoned by his mother at a fairground and raised by a clan of Irish Travellers as one of their own. Given the name ‘Harry’ (as in any Tom, Dick or Harry) he carves out a reputation as a young, bare knuckle boxer who never backs down, and earns himself the clan name ‘Badger’.
Eight years on, Badger is angry, dangerous and ready to make his own way in the world. He severs all ties with his clan and in a final act of rebellion joins the London Metropolitan Police Force. He soon finds his niche as an undercover operative, blending in everywhere yet belonging nowhere. Just as Harry believes he has left his clan roots and ‘Badger’ behind him, he is sent by his superiors to establish a connection with a clan living on an informal land settlement in Bedford. A Traveller child named Mikey has been abducted and the clan is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
Harry pairs up with Emily, an idealistic social services liaison officer, to investigate the case. Together they uncover a string of gruesome child murders and abductions dating back to 1985. Badger finds himself drawn deeper into clan life and he is ultimately forced to confront the truth about his own conflicted childhood if he is to save Mikey from becoming another victim of a twisted serial killer.
This gripping debut novel is guaranteed to keep you spellbound from the first page all the way through to its twist-in-the-tail climax.