An electrifying thriller about innocence and absolute evil.
Now bereft of both youth and ambition, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. On vacation in Florida, his fiancee Trudi is only interested in planning their forthcoming wedding, and a bitter argument sees a deranged Lennox cast adrift in strip-mall Florida. He meets two women in a seedy bar, ending up at their apartment for a coke binge interrupted by two menacing strangers. After the ensuing brawl, Lennox finds himself alone with Tianna, the terrified ten-year-old daughter of one of the women, and a sheet of instructions that make him responsible for her immediate safety.
Lennox takes her across the state to an exclusive marina on the Gulf of Mexico, and quickly suspects that he has stumbled into a hornet's nest: a gang of organized paedophiles, every bit as threatening as the monster that haunted him back in Edinburgh. His priority is to protect the abused girl, but can the edgy Lennox trust his own instincts? And can he negotiate her inappropriate sexuality, as well as his own mental fragility, while still trying to get to grips with the Edinburgh murder and the emotions it unleashes in him?
A novel about the corruption and abuse of the human soul and the possibilities of redemption, Crime is a thrilling journey into the bright glamour of the Sunshine State and a seething underworld of utter darkness.
“Running jokes and consciously ludicrous moments come thick and fast”
“Powerful, passionate...Welsh gets it just right”
“Crime is by some distance Welsh's most restrained and thoughtful work ... The themes of organised paedophile rings, child abuse and murder are distressing, but Welsh's take is surprisingly considered and compassionate, and ultimately an old-fashioned moral one”
“The taut dialogue buzzes with snappy ventriloquism. Welsh is one of our most interesting writers on the minutiae of human consciousness”
“A disturbing but vital read”
“An anti-Lolita; a cleverly updated view of those who protect children and those who prey on them. It also works as a slick, fast-paced thriller with a surprisingly coherent and engaging hero”
“There's a stark immediacy to his prose...frenetically paced thriller”
“A triumph ... A thoughtful, rather brave take on paedophile rings and the minds, fast and slow, behind them ... incredibly sure footed. Crime is not destined to become a cult book. It's better than that... a great, redemptive book”