Title: Acid Row
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition.
Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover. Signed on 2nd free front end paper. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000885
Acid Row. The name the beleaguered inhabitants give to their 'sink' estate.
A no-man's land of single mothers and fatherless children - where angry, alienated youth controls the streets. Into this battleground comes Sophie Morrison, a young doctor visiting a patient in Acid Row. Little does she know that she is entering the home of a known paedophile . . . and with reports circulating that a tormented child called Amy has disappeared, the vigilantes are out in force. Soon Sophie is trapped at the centre of a terrifying siege, with a man she has come to despise. Whipped to a frenzy by unsubstantiated rumour, the mob unleashes its hatred.
Against authority . . . the law . . . and the 'pervert'. 'Protecting Amy' becomes the catch-all defence for the terrible events that follow. And if murder is part of it, then so be it.
But is Amy really missing?
Review: From the first page, Minette Walters assaults your sensibilities with her psychological thriller Acid Row; she grabs you hard and fast, sustains the onslaught throughout and hits you with a knock-out final blow. Straightaway she informs you that the abduction of 10-year-old Amy and the revelation that a paedophile has been relocated to Acid Row, "a place of deprivation where literacy was poor, drugs endemic and fights commonplace", and where children were left to run wild, leads to rioting and "five hours of savagery leaves three dead".
Even with this prior knowledge, Walters' skill as a novelist never leaves you complacent and nothing prepares you for the horror and tragedy of her novel's shocking denouement. Monsters and heroes are found in the most unlikely places, subverting all your preconceptions: third-time pregnant teenager Melanie incites the protest only to block the rioters when they turn violent; "Big, black" Jimmy James is just out of prison but risks his neck to save the life of an injured policewoman; and the 71-year-old asthmatic father of the so-called paedophile turns out to be more sadistic than your worst imaginings.
A page-turning novel doesn't have to be particularly well written or intelligent to hold you in its grip but occasionally one comes along with both qualities and leaves you reeling in its wake. This is it. Acid Row's numerous narratives are so tightly packed and interconnected that no detail is spurious and everything is channelled towards suspense and shattering revelations. Walters just goes from strength to strength. --Nicola Perry
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