Another squelchy depraved book from the man who brought you Filth and Trainspotting. This is a sort-of sequel to Filth, where Ray Lennox, one of the policeman from Filth, is on leave after having faced a harrowing child murder case. This book tackles the difficult subject of sex abuse, paedophiles and drugs.
Recuperating after the strains of the horrific murder case, and with his fiancée madly planning their wedding, the couple head off to Miami where Ray is embroiled in drugs and also faces having a 10-year-girl called Tiana placed in his care by her druggie mother, with the request that the girl be taken to safety.
Ray finds himself uncomfortable to be depended on by the girl who seems older than her years and already corrupted by vile men. He must overcome his misgivings as well as try to convince her that the world is not as evil as she has been led to believe. There were many times when I had to step back and take a deep breath. The constant changes in viewpoint were at first somewhat irksome but when the audience learns the heartbreaking reason why Ray is taking such a keen interest in the sexual abuse cases, it all made sense.
I also didn’t expect to feel emotionally moved by the book but I was. I don’t know why. I have never been through such things myself and have never known anyone to have gone through it. That being said, such corruption of children is still taking place today and all over the world, at the hands of people who should be locked away in prison. Perhaps what was so moving was that the book showed Tiana always believing the abuse at the hands of the evil men to be her fault, when in fact it was not. Therein lies the ability to break the toxic cycle and be a person set apart from circumstances you were born into.
Another great Irvine Welsh book. I only wish I’d come across it earlier (it was published in 2008) but I think that at that point I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it for what makes it an Irvine Welsh novel. This book also links itself with the Holocaust, and the Holocaust Memorial in Miami.
MY RATING: 4 / 5.