by Aidan Rami
Life is precious, and the taking of it has terrible consequences. For those affected, it can mean a seismic shift of faith and understanding,
Set in the London Borough of Hackney with all its cross-cultural complexity, Act of Charity is a compelling and moving crime drama, sometimes shocking, sometimes touching, always gripping; a slow-burning thriller peopled by the best and worst of humanity.
Age Range: Adult
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Format: ‘B’ paperback
Word Count: 146,000
Published: November 2011
People sat and talked or just sat silently with their own thoughts and fears, knowing that everything had altered and not knowing how their own lives would change because of this seismic shift.
Hackney was already frighteningly busy, Queensbridge Road, like most of the routes into the city, thick with cars. The borough was up and coming, a gateway to the city of London, but it had been up and coming for decades without ever having up and come. In this respect it was unlike its richer neighbour Islington which wore a mantle of respectability, even though both boroughs faced similar problems with areas of great wealth alongside those of shameful poverty.
Richmond Road was a long, typical Hackney Road full of impressive brick houses built to last a thousand years but already in need of some TLC. There were no shops and few distinguishing features, apart from the bridge itself, and that was hardly Golden Gate, yet Faraday knew this was Hackney and could probably have said so even if he
The technical resurrection process took about an hour and a half. Kylie and Arthur lasted most of the time and would have lasted the whole time, but were told they had to go to bed, an order which Kylie rebelled against, not wanting to leave Daniel, for whom she had developed a soft spot. When Eileen took Kylie off to bed, Frankie breathed a sigh of relief and started asking Daniel all the questions he’d been unwilling or unable to ask whilst Kylie or his mother had been chatting. When Eileen came down again, the computer was up and running and Frankie had a giant grin on his face having learned a lot and not been blamed. Eileen Davis was relieved, in fact she was delighted.
“You’re a lifesaver,” she said. “I really thought Frankie had killed it.”
She took a bus to Cambridge Heath, which was where she needed to go. She’d been thinking about this, and decided to start with the one man the investigation had forgotten, the mysterious witness named Robert. She’d never really talked to him so there might be something the police had overlooked, in fact she felt sure there was and that she could find it out. A tremendous excitement gripped her and all the depression suddenly lifted. She could do something, take matters into her own hands and get the investigation moving again. It was no good having a killer on the street.
An artist might have made a masterpiece of the scene because it had within it so much of what made life worth a visit. Whether they were the closest to Kathryn didn’t matter; what mattered was that she was a vital and good part of their lives and she had gone; what mattered was that they were young and the great panorama of the future which, the day before, had been full of hope and belief was suddenly ruptured, their emotional landscape blown apart. They were each faced with something they didn’t understand, something which even people who had lived long lives didn’t understand, the sheer uncertainty of time, the second by second volatility of it all. But mostly they faced never seeing their friend again, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, feeling her generous nature and knowing that, whatever happened elsewhere, she was a safe harbour for all things good.