The Doll Princess
Winner of the Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award
It's Manchester, July 1996, the month after the IRA bomb, and the Evening News is carrying reports of two murders. On the front page is a glamorous Egyptian woman, a socialite and heiress to an oil fortune, whose partially clothed body has been found in a basement. In the back pages there is a fifty-word piece on the murder of a young prostitute found dumped on a roadside.
For Henry Bane, fixer, loanshark and legman for one of Manchester's established ganglords, it's the second piece of news that hits hardest. Determined to find out what happened to his childhood sweetheart he searches his bombed city for answers, finding that these two stories belong on the same page, and that Bane's world belongs to others - those willing to profit from guns, human trafficking and a Manchester in decay.
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