My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - On and off for 1 week
Pages - 343
Publisher - Ailsa Publishing
Blurb from Goodreads
A father waits in Glasgow's Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn't get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content.
We open with a callous burial or rather body dump of a young woman by some, what the reader can only deduce, very dodgy criminals. Hello chapter one, Bill Ingram is waiting in a Glasgow train station for his daughter to come home. As the train comes and goes and time ticks on there is no sign of Carol and no contact. Bill embarks on a one man investigation to find his daughter, putting himself in grave danger and having to face the fact that he maybe didn't know his daughter at all.
The chapters are named so we know where we are and which character it is focused on, Carol and the many folk around her or her situation are in London, Bill initially is in Glasgow then hits London for his quest. Carol's timeline jumps back a wee bit to before Aleksander comes into her life and the path that follows after. A story that demonstrates corruption, lies, influence, the darker side of humanity and how some people will go to any lengths to exploit another.
Relationships carve a huge part of this story, the love of a father for his daughter, partners, friendship, criminal loyalties and family. There are some very dark themes in the book too, addiction, abuse, violence, sexual abuse to name just a few. It isn't for the faint hearted, not so much in brutal graphic detail but enough for the reader to conjure the horrors with just enough information for full impact. The book is a bit like an onion, there are so many layers to it, I loved the family bond some characters had and would stop at nothing for their relative.
Lots and lots of swearing featured, I think given one of the central themes and key characters this was a must, for realism, rather than gratuitous. Depending on your background and family ties, I think this book has the potential to pack a punch and strike some emotive chords with some readers. I have read Jones before and I will read him again, 4/5 for me this time!