The crime centres on disaffected teenagers, a murder and a horrific child rape. There are references to reality in this book centring on miscarriages of justice from the 1970s, including the case of Stefan Kiszko, jailed for murder on the basis of DNA which it was later found to have not been his. The novel constructs a fictional parallel to other such incidences of unsafe convictions. Howard Stamp, a mentally and physically underdeveloped teenager, was imprisoned in 1970 for the murder of his elderly gran. The prosecution’s only convincing evidence was a single hair in the bathtub where the murderer had allegedly washed off the blood. Stamp protested his innocence and was later found dead in his cell. It is up to an anthropologist and local councillor to investigate the truth of this affair.
The book falls down a bit with its characterisation which is a bit strange, I wasn’t convinced by the tormented hero feeling hounded because of 9/11 and the War in Iraq his obvious journey from self-loathing to acceptance was not very convincing. The ending was also a little bit unsatisfying but the story itself was an interesting one and a page turner.