by David Cray
Little Girl Blue
Carroll & Graf, January, 2002.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
NYPD homicide detective and single mom Julia Brennan has developed the hard shell necessary in order to get the job done. She has grown cold over the years, as a result of seeing what horrors humans can inflict upon other humans. But when a young girl's frozen naked body is found in Central Park, Julia's hard exterior is breached by the pathetic circumstances of the child's death. With the help of an undercover cop, Peter Foley, Julia investigates the world of child pornography and prostitution. Julia is more than a little suspicious of her new guide; Peter Foley is carrying a lot of emotional baggage, although he is quite attractive. And the politics in the NYPD are becoming more and more burdensome, especially for a female homicide detective. As the investigation progresses, Julia becomes more worried about her daughter Correy's safety -- can she find the murderer before he destroys someone she loves?
David Cray (a pseudonym for a well-known mystery writer) crafts a gripping and dark police procedural which explores the sordid world which exploits young children through international adoption scams, forced drug abuse and child slavery. It's not a pretty topic, but unfortunately it's all too accurate. Cray does an excellent job of showing this world mostly by implication, which is contrasted sharply with the normal everyday concerns of Julia's daughter Correy. Julia Brennan is a skillfully drawn character, and her interactions with the NYPD brass ring true. This is a prime example of how a police procedural should be written: the prose is smooth, the plot is tight and the background is enjoyably gritty.
--Claire E. White
Little Girl Blue is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the February, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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