Kray, Roberta - 'The Lost'
When an investigative journalist dies, his friend and colleague Jess Vaughan looks into his death, convinced that he had found something out. The reporter was looking into the disappearance of a child over 20 years before, convinced that he had seen the missing girl - but then he was known for his drinking habits, so maybe he was just mistaken.
His death and Jess's conviction, persuades private eye Harry Lind that there is some truth behind the tale, particularly as one of his old adversaries Jimmy Keppell, a gangster well known in the London underworld, may be involved. Harry has his own problems - his own investigation into a missing person seems to have stalled, his employer is in financial trouble and his partner has moved out and may be seeing someone else.
This is a detailed investigation into a series of events, by both Harry on the private investigation side and Jess with her own initiatives and insights as a reporter. The gritty descriptions are at times a bit harrowing and sometimes quite thoughtful about the close relationship between gangsters and police. The plot is quite intricate and tight and at times can be a little difficult to follow, but leads into a resolution which creates some closure for the readers.
This is a book which has some close observations about the criminal world, the writing style is clear and the dialogue is well observed and appears to be very real. Apart from the main plot, the side stories and personal problems of the characters help support the "normality" feel of the book, which makes some of the elements even more sinister. I think this may stray occasionally into the "true crime" field, given Roberta Kray's past, and, therefore, is all the more compelling a crime novel.
Amanda Brown, England