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by John Baker
Orion, February 2004
352 pages
ISBN: 0752847481

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Katy Madika, a professional photographer, is walking through Hull testing her newest digital camera by taking pictures of people . She follows a youngish hook-nosed man until he is killed by a man in a white raincoat wearing a Panama hat, and who sees Katy. He follows her into a cafe, but she takes out the compact flash card before handing him the camera.

Stone Lewis is living with part-Vietnamese Ginny Bradshaw in Hull. Ginny is the part-Vietnamese, part-American girl he saved in THE CHINESE GIRL. Ginny decides to go back to the US to see if she really wants to stay with Stone in the UK, which leaves Stone at a loose end.

Eve Caldwell, owner of System.ini, has given Stone a part-time job, despite his record. One day, Katy comes in to talk to Eve. Strange things have been happening. Katy knows what she has seen, but no one else believes her. The man in the raincoat discovers that Katy has the card with the digital images on it and goes and gets it from her by threatening her family.

Eve turns Katy's problems over to Stone to investigate. The grandfather of Katy's husband, Dr Daniel Madika, was a Bakonga chief near Kinshasa, and Daniel has been beaten up pretty badly by white supremacists. Katy is afraid for their daughter, Chloe. A 13-year-old gay African-Caribbean boy has also been terrorized by some of these same people.

Then Stone goes to visit his Aunt Nell who raised him when his mother, Sally, was unable to deal with her son. Aunt Nell's neighbor, Mrs Robson, tells him that her lodger, a Kosovan, is missing.

As Stone investigates, he finds similarities which makes him consider both cases to be parts of a whole. This is the second book in the Stone Lewis series. John Baker is also the author of six San Turner novels. He should be better known on the US side of the pond.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, March 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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