The body of a missing teenager is dredged from the seabed off the Sussex coast, missing vital organs. Soon after, a further two more bodies are found . . . Caitlin Beckett, a fifteen-year-old in Brighton will die if she does not receive an urgent transplant. When the health system threatens to let her down her mother takes drastic action and goes to an online broker in black-market organs. The broker can provide what she wants, but it will come at a price. As Superintendent Roy Grace investigates the recovered bodies, he unearths the trail of a gang of child traffickers operating from Eastern Europe. Soon Grace and his team will find themselves in a race against time to save the life of a young street kid, while a desperate mother will stop at nothing to save her daughter's life.
Reviewed on 14th April 2014
Fifth in the series and absolutely huge in hardback, I couldn't put it down. The balance of Roy Grace's home and work life is perfect as he investigates a body dredged up from the channel as well as entering a new phase in his life.
I really love how every set up manages to keep the reader guessing - there's no point that the plot becomes obvious, there are always multiple routes that it can go, and I really enjoy it when it seems that things are going to go a certain way and James throws in a twist that takes things a different route.
The ongoing story of Grace's personal life continues strongly - this is one of the best crime series I read in this respect. One of the guest characters in this book is fantastic - Lynn - who, without giving away too much, really grows through what she experiences in a way that is touchingly authentic.
The plot is original, believable, shocking as always, and the narrative contains just enough gruesomeness to stay interesting without putting the reader off. I very much enjoy the series and look forward to visiting the characters again.