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Monday 25 October 2021

‘To Catch a Rabbit’ by Helen Cadbury

Published by Moth Publishing,
30 May 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-901888-87-4

Helen Cadbury tells a good story and tells it well. She creates a cast of leading characters which grab the reader’s attention and sympathy, and minor ones who stay in the mind; builds a world that lives and breathes; and weaves together several knotty and apparently disparate narrative strands. And she does it all in a fluent, pacy style.

There’s a stroke of originality too. I’ve never previously encountered a crime novel with a Police Community Support Officer as a protagonist. Sean Denton is a young and inexperienced PCSO, thrown in at the deep end when he is first on the scene of the suspicious death of a young prostitute. That’s only the beginning; Sean finds himself way out of his pay grade when he becomes involved in the squalid end of the sex trade and police corruption. His story keeps bumping against Karen’s; she is trying to hold together her family and her job in social work, and at the same time is desperately seeking her brother, whose disappearance seems to be a matter of indifference to most other people.

The brother’s own story is in there too, as part of a grimly complex narrative web which delves deep into the murky depths of prostitution, stolen goods, and eventually human trafficking and several dead bodies, and eventually ties the strands together in a coherent and satisfying denouement which doesn’t feel at all contrived.

It all adds up to a fine debut novel. Helen Cadbury can justly be proud to have written it.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick

Helen Cadbury (1965-2017) was born in the Midlands and brought up in Birmingham and Oldham, Lancashire. Helen’s debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, was joint winner of the Northern Crime Award and was launched by Moth Publishing, May 2013. Helen writes fiction, poetry and plays. There are two further book sin the series Bones in the Nest and Race to the Kill.

Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives in Oxfordshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.

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