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Publisher's Summary

Hidden by London’s wealth, energy and need for cheap labour, the city’s immigrant population is powerless, despised and often illegal. So when a young woman’s body is discovered on Hampstead Heath one cold morning, she could be anyone...Rich or poor, outsider or insider, five strangers are connected in undreamed-of ways as greed, courage, murder and kindness link their lives. Polly Noble, a human rights lawyer and single mother, knows more than most how easily people fall into the abyss of London’s underworld.

©2009 Amanda Craig (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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A Timely Look At Immigration

It makes me balk that by giving this book five stars it means that "I love it". In reality, this is a stark look at the underbelly of London 2002-2008 and presents what seemed to me to be the "what's in it for me" way of living. Craig, is fast becoming a disturbing, albeit compelling favorite author for me. She stirs me up and has me fuming with her throw you under the trolley style of writing. Insightful, gritty and at the same time beautifully composed.

In this book five lives are woven together, using a hodgepodge style with frequent holes; many open loops and lots of loose ends. Nothing here is neat and tidy, but the story is drawn directly from today's reality. It forces the reader to look at the current immigration trouble from multiple angles and perspectives. Rather than the hearts and minds approach, Craig presents the use or be used reality, and it is disturbing. The book embraces so many wounded, needy souls--but--oddly enough left me not feeling sorry for anyone. Instead, I felt that the writing presented how we each need to meet "the other" or "the stranger" in immigration as a human equal and then to work together from there.

Thomas' narration was excellent and done seamlessly what with all the transitions between accents and characters. It added to the experience by not overwhelming the characters, but at the same time bringing them each to life.

There was a quote in the book where a character derides America for being idiotic in that we believe that we have the "right" to be happy. The American character points out that we Americans don't believe we have the right to be happy but the right to pursue happiness. I would like to believe that all humans all over the world have that same right, in addition to the chance to live in safety and peace. I think we have a way to go on that front. That said, I guess in the end I did love the book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful