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The Fire Baby (Philip Dryden Series #2)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Deep In The Fens

    1976 ¿ A plane crashes into a farmhouse on Black Bank Fen, killing the family sitting around the dinner table and the people on board. Out of the fire, Maggie Beck emerges, her life saved by her father¿s request to go down to the cellar for some wine. In her arms was a baby bundled in a USAF blanket. She claims it was a baby on the plane that had survived the crash, while her own newborn baby boy lay perished in the fire. Twenty seven years later, Maggie Beck was on her deathbed with a life altering confession that ruined the lives of those involved. Every night for the past four years ,journalist Philip Dryden would sit by his wife's hospital bed since the accident that left her in a coma. Maggie Beck lies in the bed next to Laura Dryden and asks Dryden to help write her life story. Amidst Dryden¿s involvement with the Maggie Beck case, murder happens in the Fens when a corpse is found in a pillbox in Black Bank Fen and another was discovered in a deliberate fire out on the USAF Mildenhall Base. These murders lead to the unraveling of people smuggling and porn trading that would shake the silent and creepy fens to the core. Other events such as the disappearance of a young barmaid that turns up in porn photos, illegal immigrants being locked in a container in the hellish heat, a Nigerian father avenging the death of his son who died in a people smuggling scheme gone awry, a son seeking revenge on the father that had taken the life he should have had ¿ these are the goings on in the creepy and calm Fens as written by British author Jim Kelly. While Kelly tracks these intertwining story lines from different points of view, Dryden follows the trails and discovers each victim¿s fate. Even his wife participates while sporadically struggling to relay messages to him through a COMPASS machine¿messages that could even save his life. Although Kelly¿s prose was enlightening, with touches of biting sarcasm and dark nimble humour, his depictions of scenarios may be impenetrable for laymen who might not be in the same wry wavelength. It can be a struggle to read through the numerous goings on that it could affect one¿s enjoyment of it. The Fire Baby may not be everyone¿s cup of tea, but to those who swallow it, will regard this thriller/mystery as a definite standout

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