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One cold December day a shop assistant at Silvermeadow recognises a customer as Gregory 'Upper' North, a vicious bank robber who's been on the run for years. When DCI Brock and DS Kathy Kolla follow up the sighting, they discover that another major investigation is underway at the mall, into the disappearance of a teenage girl who worked as a waitress in the food court there. They agree to work with the Essex police on both cases, and the body of the missing girl is discovered, having apparently been crushed in one of the rubbish compactors in Silvermeadow's vast basement. Kathy and Brock explore the strange hermetic world of the mall, a place of perfect temperature and constant sunshine, in sharp contrast to the bleak winter landscape of the surrounding Essex countryside. They meet the different groups of people who inhabit the place: somewhere among them is not only a gang planning a violent robbery, but also a serial killer, stalking young women in the mall - a shark in warm, teeming waters. Like the mall they are drawn to, the people we meet are not what they appear. Illusion and fantasy mask the hard realities of need and dependence, and others have to die before Kathy and Brock finally trace those realities to their unexpected source. This dark and brilliantly plotted crime thriller bears comparison with Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin.
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Used availability for Barry Maitland's Silvermeadow