Gagged and Bound

Barrister Trish Maguire is drawn into the story of a thirty-year-old terrorist outrage when she agrees to help a distinguished biographer fight a libel case. The claimant, a newly ennobled politician, believes she has identified him as one of the terrorists who killed a busload of young children. Trish’s researches lay bare a chain of such wicked exploitation that she has to follow it until she has unmasked the real villain. At the same time, her old friend, Inspector Caro Lyalt, is faced with an impossible decision. In the running for a fantastic new job within the police, she is secretly told that her closest rival, one of the Met’s most respected officers, is in the pay of a family of organised criminals. If the allegation is false and she passes it on, she’ll lose all hope of this job or any other; if it’s true and she does nothing, she’ll never forgive herself. As the two women help each other find the information they need in the edgiest areas of South London, the stakes are raised when Caro’s informant is shot. Then the body of a young woman is found, trussed, gagged and suffocated with all the trademarks of a punishment killing. And someone is trying to use Trish’s eleven-year-old half-brother, David, to force her to drop her enquiry… A recent review described one of Natasha Coopers novels as ahead of most current detective fiction, and this novel illustrates this to perfection.

Reviews:

 

 

‘Strong characterisation and sense of place put Cooper among the best in current crime writing.’ Sue Baker, Publishing News

‘The plot of Gagged and Bound is well balanced; it is neither too simple  nor too baroque, and it moves along at a decent pace, particularly in the last fifty pages.’ TLS
‘Maguire is a compelling figure in contempory crime, and Miss Cooper is a real challenge to Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters.’  Peterborough Evening News
‘Suspenseful…the smart, caring and driven Trish delves for information and puts together all the pieces for a satisfying conclusion.’   Publishers Weekly

‘Cooper is a devious plotter but her strength is in creating believable characters.’ The Observer

“I was full of admiration for her deft plotting, her thoughtfulness and the care she takes to construct a novel that works both on a narrative and emotional level. For those who want diversion, it offers unshowy, intelligent respite, a good puzzle and the fictional reminder that things are never simple.” Elizabeth Buchan, The Guardian

“A fascinating study of power, corruption and coercion.”  The Guardian