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Two petrol bombs thrown on the Cakewalk promenade, a sports reporter and his bike rammed off a cliff, a policeman thrown through a plate-glass display window in the city centre and left to die. All this is ‘a quiet summer weekend’ in the dockland city of Canton and its Art Deco resort town of Ocean Beach.

Chief Inspector Sam Hoskins links the investigation of these crimes, but political chicanery hampers him on both sides: on the left is ambitious young Eve Ricard riding to national fame and fortune on ‘women’s issues, media bias, and insensitive policing’; to the right is the monstrously corrupt councillor and aged razor-boy Carmel Cooney, with his girls and clubs and rackets …

‘Strong on city life and the interplay between policemen and local politics’ Independent