M E Oren
Five severed human ears are found inside an abandoned van in Dudlham Farm. A week later the ears remain a mystery to everyone, including the police.
The case is passed down to Detective Inspector Gregg Downing, a family man who has spent ten years investigating only white collar crimes. He is not expected to get results, his mandate is to sit on this and provide some police presence at The Farm until something more interesting happens.
Days later, with Downing still on watch, ten-year-old Timmy Lewis disappears from the estate. The boy’s guardian Orelius Simm - a crime lord who has resourcefully harnessed the misfortunes of Dudlham to create a lucrative business empire - vows to spare nothing in his quest to find his boy.
A smart, brave protagonist. A sickening crime. Welcome to Dudlham.
What could have been a standard serial killer thriller becomes much more. This is a book with something to say and it's told thrillingly.
The residents of Dudlham have their problems. A deprived estate with economic and social difficulties it’s a symbol of modern ‘broken’ Britain. Dudlham Farm in London has a 95% black population that reside in 1960s-built sprawling tower blocks, known locally as The Farm. Rioting on the streets has boiled over, adding to the racial tension and calling on the Met’s Armed Response team.
After five severed ears turn up in a plastic bag, local right wing white activists, the British People's Party, jump on the idea that a black serial killer is slaughtering white kids. Wanting to calm the situation, the police put out their own drug gang theory, one based on spin. Clueless, the cops are faced with a wall of silence from an estate that knows not to trust them, and knows not to talk. The locals have their own issues and secrets to hide including criminal activity that they’d rather keep from the police. Orelius, the hero of the book, is one of those locals; a black man who is faring better than most he is also known to be trustworthy and a helper of the farm’s immigrants, refugees and other residents.
When a local ten year old boy goes missing Orelius quickly fears for the kid’s safety. Little Timmy has disappeared during the time of a riot. Pale skinned, for a mixed race lad, has Timmy become the killer’s next victim?
Taking matters into his own hands, Orelius, a family friend, begins asking questions of Timmy’s whereabouts but his actions get him arrested. His street smart attitude and legal knowledge – aided by a top layer – give him some leeway but he’s in big trouble with the cops. However, it seems that the police need his help and, prior to his court case, Orelius is asked to assist with their investigation.
The detective needs Orelius’ knowledge of the estate, and his standing within it, to open doors. Scotland Yard can use him to help them crack open the severed ears case whilst Orelius can use them, and his time out of custody, to find Timmy.
They embark on a journey of harrowing discoveries through to an old unsolved mystery as a series of suspects are considered, including the hog, a strange old man with a cleft lip that lives next door to Timmy.
Mental health, immigration, racism, superstition, ignorance and the realities of life in poverty are prevalent in this topical political crime thriller.
Rounded, challenged, complex characters fill pages that fly by in this gripping thriller.
M E Oren:
Michael is, first and foremost, a writer, then a novelist, journalist, commentator, poet, entertainer, a Londoner and an African in no particular order. His background, however, is in Engineering mostly as an academic in Mechanical Engineering and in particular Fluid Dynamics - he hold B.Eng and M.Sc (Hons) Degrees from Warwick University.