I am sharing with you an excerpt from Dancers in the Wind but first…. what is the book about?
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. .Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates
Series: Hannah Weybridge #1
Published by Urbane Publications on October 13, 2016
Also by this author: Dancers in the Wind, Dancers in the Wind, Death's Silent Judgement, Songs of Innocence, A Tale of Two Sisters, Perdition's Child
Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Webridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross.
There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan.
When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognizable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence.
Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat.
As she comes to realize that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah must expose the truth—and stay alive.
Hannah turned to see a shortish, well-built man walking through the arched entrance…
“Mr Vitello?” Close to, he looked like the type of man you wouldn’t like to meet on your own on a dark night. His appearance must be an asset for a job like this, Hannah thought and smiled. If any of his clients cut up rough, Mr Vitello looked as though he could deal with it. She held out her hand. “Hannah Weybridge.”
He shook her proffered hand, his expression quizzical. “I’m sorry, should I know you?”
By now he had unlocked the office and had opened the door. Hannah activated the hidden recorder and followed him into a cramped room. A desk and four chairs were the only furniture. The walls were covered with shelves weighed down with books, pamphlets and cardboard files.
“I’m a journalist.”
“Oh yes. Come to do a bit on community housing?” There was a sneer in his voice that Hannah found intensely irritating. She wondered how effective he was in his job if he always got on the wrong side of people like this, so early in a meeting.
“No, I’ve come to talk to you about a young woman called Caroline.” She held out a photo that had been taken during the interview.
For all of two seconds, Tony Vitello looked disconcerted but covered his discomfort by straightening some files on his desk.
“You knew her a few years ago, I believe?”
Vitello spread his hands and shrugged. “Caroline… now that was a long time ago. I haven’t seen her in…”
“You may not be aware that she is missing, even presumed dead following a spate of murders at King’s Cross.”
“I saw something on the news but I didn’t know Princess was involved.”
Hannah wanted to jump for joy. Instead she coolly crossed her legs. He’d fallen into her trap. Hannah knew the police had questioned him. And her working name had slipped off his tongue so readily, it suggested he had seen or heard from her more recently than he’d admitted to.
“She’s been missing for several weeks and I wondered if she was in hiding and had turned to you for help perhaps?”
Vitello stroked his nose thoughtfully. Hannah glanced at his feet, which betrayed his apparent ease by tapping away on the worn, tiled floor. His shoes looked new and expensive. Just like the boys’ trainers in the forecourt. “Why would she do that?” he replied evasively.
“When I interviewed her a month or so ago, she mentioned how you had helped her and that you’d rescued her from two rather violent pimps. She was grateful and spoke highly of you. Maybe she needs protection again?”
Vitello’s eyes did not meet her own. Hannah was convinced that he had seen Caroline on the evening she had been working in Streatham. Relief permeated her body as she realised that Caroline hadn’t confided the name of the person she was staying with. Tony Vitello had looked totally disinterested when she’d introduced herself.
“I am authorised by The News –” Hannah opened her briefcase and brought out the contract – “to pay you for any help and information you might be able to give me…” She allowed the offer to hang in the air between them. Vitello was obviously interested in making a financial deal. “Shall we say £500?” Hannah suggested.
The community worker who looked more Mafioso that a do-gooder was wriggling on the hook. From his clothes and the expensive watch on his wrist, he spent far more than he could possibly earn in this job.
“Shall we say £750 for exclusive rights? That does mean that you cannot speak to or give information to any other media outlet.”
Vitello swallowed hard. Easy money… His index finger traced a line from the top of his nose to the corner of his mouth. “Okay. I haven’t seen her recently but I’ll tell you what I know about her.”
Hannah placed her tape-recorder on the table and switched it on at the same time as deactivating her hidden machine.
I have already read this book but this has made me want to read it all over again!!!
What have other reviewers said?
Goodreads reviewer says:- This classic thriller is skilfully written and has an excellent serious storyline. Having read the teaser for the second book “Death’s Silent Judgement” I really can’t wait to read that too, Anne is an impressive writer that I’m glad I’ve come across and highly recommend to readers of masterly crime fiction!
Damppebbles says:- It’s a gritty read and in some places quite shocking. My attention was held from the opening chapters to the very end. Once I’d finished the book I felt quite bereft and wanted more (there is a sequel on the way – no pressure, Anne Coates!). This is another read where you suspect pretty much every character at one point or another. I always enjoy books which use that formula as I’m always keen to hone my detective skills.
Jen Med Book Reviews says:- The plot was intriguing and the author drew me right in and kept me engaged with a good strong narrative. The setting, the seedier side of London, pre euro tunnel and pre mass mobile phone, worked well and I think with Hannah we have a character who has a lot of scope for future novels. I can’t wait to read the next one.
GoodReads Reviewer says:- The style of writing by Anne Coates is effortless. She has the ability to drawn you in. Her descriptives captures the 90’s to perfection, you feel as though you are melting into the pages, an unnoticed bystander on the periphery of each scene.
I am a huge fan of TV crime series, Prime Suspect, Broadchurch and Vera to name a few and I can most definitely see Dancers in the Wind following in these most venerated footsteps.
Well I hope these have done enough to help entice you buy the book, it has me and I have a copy!!
Until next time xxx