Lesley Horton






Lesley Horton
Orion Publishing Group, December 2004
Reviewed by Sally Roddom


In ON DANGEROUS GROUND we meet again two of Bradford's finest, Detective Inspector Handford and Detective Sergeant Khalid Ali. A serial killer is targeting child prostitutes. Two bodies have been found so far, and the police investigation is not helped by the fact that this is a social problem that no one wants to talk publicly about. As far as the local government is concerned, child prostitution just does not exist. When Handford is driving home one night, he spots a young constable throwing-up at the mouth of an alley. The killer's third victim has just been found. In a pocket of the unfortunate young girl is a fifteen-year-old photograph of a man Handford knows - his boss DCI Stephen Russell. Against his will he is ordered to investigate Russell and he turns up the possibility of more murders a decade and a half earlier.

This is Lesley Horton's second novel, and she keeps up the great standard that she set in her debut novel SNARES OF GUILT. The plot is very in-your-face. Anyone who has children may find the shocking topic a little too distressing at times. Having said that, the plot is well thought through and held my attention to the very end where there is an interesting twist waiting. Not only is the unpleasant topic of child abuse brought out into the open, there is also strong racial tension throughout the book, both in attitude to the crime and within the police department itself. Handford and Khalid are both extremely believable characters, with Khalid portrayed having the additional challenge being the only Asian officer on the Bradford force. ON DANGEROUS GROUND is worth getting your hands on. You can read it as a stand alone, but please search out SNARES OF GUILT as well.

March 2006 review originally published on Murder and Mayhem


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