- Summaries (3)
Following a tip-off Gently and Bacchus acquire a suitcase full of stolen passports dropped by petty crook Jimmy Cochran. Cochran's old flame Maggie Alderton worked in the office where they were issued and is found raped and strangled next day, the father of her child being identified as one Thomas Ali, for whom she was apparently trying to secure a passport. Cochran is in a turf war with some Arab boys, also involved in dodgy passports and Maggie's transvestite boss is also less innocent than he first appears. However, facts prove Ali and Cochran to be father and son and neither has killed Maggie, a pawn in the whole scam. With the real murderer hanged, Gently, a veteran of the 1959 Notting Hill riots in London, nonetheless warns young Bacchus of the perils of racial intolerance.
Gently and Bacchus investigate after an anonymous call leads them to a stash of 200 expired passports that were destined for resale on the black market. They confirm that Passport Office security processes are quite lax thee are any possible number of suspects. When they find Passport Office employee Maggie Alderton raped and strangled on the beach - with her newborn barely alive in its carrier after being exposed to the elements for nearly 24 hours - they suspect she may have been the source of the stolen passports. Her former boyfriend is a local hood, Jimmy Cochrane, but he broke up with her some 6 weeks before when she gave birth to a dark-skinned baby. She always claimed that the child was Jimmy's but rumors abounded that a older Arab man seen visiting her flat. The police learn that a local hood, Hamed, may be behind the passport scam but Gently treads carefully knowing from experience how racialism, real or perceived, can lead to severe consequences in the community.
Gently and Bacchus investigate a consignment of stolen passports, but the case takes an unexpected turn when a woman linked to the crime is found dead on the seashore with her mixed-race baby lying next to her.
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