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.
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Did You Know?
Pictures of Maggie's baby seem African rather than Arab. South Shields has had a large Yemeni community since the 1890s. This was soon joined by merchant seaman and their families from Somalia. However both Arab and African communities were referred to locally as Arabs. See more
Actually, this episode starts with 'South Shields 1964'. So although the book may be set in 1962 the episode is not. See more
[Having been beaten up by Jimmy on the beach
I'll bring you the Arab! I'll bring you the Arab!
[Scared and sobbing eith a blade at his throat
This is your last chance, Hamed! You bring him... I'll kill him. You don't bring him, I'll kill you!