LIVING ON A PRAYER by SHEILA QUIGLEY.
A week before Christmas Debbie Stansfield's life falls apart. Her son - her funny, cheeky, kind Richard - has been found hanging from a tree at the Seven Sisters. The police think it's suicide but Debbie won't - can't - accept it. Her son would never kill himself. Not her Richard. no way.
Richard's four friends know something about his death. Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt can feel it. The teenagers are clearly terrified about something - something that scares them more than the police. But they're not about to tell.....
As the days tick down to Christmas, Lorraine, increasingly overworked and under pressure, can't ignore her suspicions that there's more to Richard's death than meets the eye. And when Richard's friends start going missing, her worst fears are confirmed. Just who is preying on the young people in Houghton-Le-Spring? And will Lorraine be able to stop them, before another vulnerable teenager is found dead?
.... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (From the prologue): Debbie Stansfield's hands trembled furiously as she pressed Richard's pale-blue Nike T-shirt to her face.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Debbie imagined the teddy waiting patiently for Richard to return, to smile at him one last time, to take him out and play with him, and love him like he used to.
The third outing for the folks of the Seahills Estate (click for my reviews of BOOK 1 and BOOK 2) and I'm still fascinated by the fact that I once lived so very, very close to many of the locations mentioned - yes, the 'Seven Sisters' mentioned in the back cover blurb actually exist.
Still with little swearing (some I can cope with) I really enjoyed Living On A Prayer which as well as dealing with the 'main crime' also tackled some of the other issues concerning modern Britain (and I dare say many other European countries.)
Character wise: Despite the fact that I still cannot bring myself to like 'leading lady' Lorraine Hunt, I find myself warming more and more to many of the other characters - many of them 'salt of the earth types', you know that they are extremely close to breaking the law themselves and yet you cannot help but empathise with the situation some of them find themselves in.
Living On A Prayer was a library book read, my first read for the SEPTEMBER SPECTACULAR READING CHALLENGE. To view the other blogs participating in week/book 1 click HERE.