Ali Barba, a Sikh detective with the Metropolitan Police, is recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty when she receives a letter from her estranged friend, Cate, imploring her to come to their high school reunion. Alarmed by the urgent tone of the note, and eager to make amends for her unforgivable past behavior, Ali goes to the reunion. Cate is pregnant, but before Ali has the chance to congratulate her, Cate hurriedly whispers, They want to take my baby. You have to stop them. It is the only hint of Cates troubles Ali manages to get; as they are leaving the reunion, Cate and her husband are run down by a car and killed. The mystery darkens when it is discovered that Cate had faked her pregnancy by tying a pillow underneath her dress.
All Ali has to go on is a file in Cates desk that contains two ultrasound pictures, letters from a fertility clinic, and various papers that seem to confirm the unborn babys existence. As she puts together the pieces, Ali uncovers a complicated, horrific network that exploits young refugees from Southeast Asia. Her search takes her to Amsterdam and into the company of some very unsavory people on both sides of the Channel who'll do anything to thwart her investigation.
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"In keeping with the opening sentence's invocation of Graham Greene, the author's terse, resonant prose hides more than it reveals. Readers will hope Robotham has many more books of this caliber in him." - PW.
"Robotham sometimes risks subverting the story to a social message, but the plot takes several unexpected turns, and Barba proves a refreshingly different kind of protagonist for a British crime novel." - Booklist.
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Born in Australia in November 1960, Michael Robotham grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.
For the next fourteen years he wrote for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK's Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin's Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled.
In 1993, Robotham quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, ...
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