Barbara Havers puts her career on the line after her neighbour's child disappears, while DI Thomas Lynley attempts to straighten her out... before it's too late.
When Hadiyyah Upman disappears from London in the company of her mother, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is as devastated as the girl's father. They are her close friends as well as her neighbours; but since the child is with her mother, nothing can be done.
Five months later, Hadiyyah is kidnapped from an open-air market in Lucca, Italy, and this triggers an investigation as well as attracting the full glare of the media spotlight. Barbara's clever manipulation of the worst of London's tabloids forces New Scotland Yard to become involved.
But rather than Barbara herself taking charge of Hadiyyah's case, her superior officer DI Thomas Lynley is assigned to handle a situation made delicate by racial issues, language difficulties, and the determination of an Italian magistrate to arrest and convict someone - anyone - for the crime.
Elizabeth George is the internationally bestselling author of twenty psychological suspense novels, four young adult novels, two books of non-fiction and two short-story collections. Her work has been honoured with an Anthony Award, an Agatha Award, two Edgar nominations, and both France's and Germany's first prize for crime fiction. She has taught creative writing internationally and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters and an honorary MFA in creative writing. She lives in Seattle, Washington.