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by David Cray

Hardcover - 304 pages 1 Carroll edition (December 31, 2001)
Carroll & Graf; ISBN: 078670943X ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.08 x 9.31 x 6.31

Reviewed by Karen Meek

The instant Lieutenant Julia Brennan sees the naked, foot sore body of a young child in Central Park, the refrain 'Little Girl Blue' fixes in her mind. The girl had run as far as she could before curling up and dying in the freezing temperatures. What could she have been running from that was worse than a New York winter? Julia Brennan, single mother, is as ambitious as they come but she will risk everything to solve the case of Little Girl Blue.

Working on a hunch, she contacts the sex crimes section and is given a contact, a maverick undercover cop by the name of Peter Foley. Foley, broken by the theft of his daughter and subsequent suicide of his wife some years ago, hunts down those who deal in child porn and prostitution.

Instantly attracted to each other, Brennan and Foley make a formidable team though neither fully trusts the other. Through Foley's undercover operations, they have a lead as to where 'Blue' was running from; an apartment on the Upper East Side which supplied child prostitutes. What they find in the apartment sets them following a trail that for many children began in Eastern Europe and ended in misery in Manhattan.

LITTLE GIRL BLUE is an engrossing read which brings New York and the New York police department vividly to life. All the characters are well drawn but Julia is especially real and sympathetic and someone you want to root for. Background information on Julia's upbringing is interwoven with the current events and helps to explain Julia's character.

Given the subject and setting, there is some violence in this book, but most is aimed at adults and any violence to children is 'off screen' and dealt with in a tasteful and non graphic manner.

I really hope that there will be another adventure featuring Brennan and Foley as they make a great team. A very well written book that should go straight onto all the awards short lists.

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