The D.I. Tom Mariner Series Books 1
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The Worm in the Bud (2004)
The first book in the D.I. Tom Mariner series
In Birmingham a local journalist is found dead in his home. A puncture wound in his arm a testimony to his death by lethal injection, the cryptic note by his side: 'no more', seems at first to suggest suicide but Detective Inspector Tom Mariner has learned to take nothing at face value. There is something a little too staged about events, especially as just that evening Mariner had witnessed Edward Barham pick up a prostitute in a bar he was frequenting. As the police investigate the house further they discovers there is another witness to events at 34 Clarendon Avenue. Barham's younger brother, Jamie, is found in a cupboard under the stairs. It seems likely that Jamie Barham had witnessed his brother's killing but his severe autism has left him without the means to communicate what he has seen...
Mariner is determined to build enough of a relationship with Jamie to get to the truth. And the fact that this means spending time with Anna Barham, Jamie's new - and reluctant - guardian, is no great hardship. But is Edward's death related to his recent investigations into a local crimelord. Or is there something else, something that only Jamie can tell them - if he so chooses...
Blood of the Innocents (2005)
The second book in the D.I. Tom Mariner series
When two teenagers go missing on the same day on Mariner's patch, it seems to be nothing more than a coincidence. Leaving aside their age and disappearance, the two have little in common. Yasmin Akhtar is the talented grammar school educated daughter of devout Muslim professionals. Ricky Skeet disappears after storming out of his council house after a row with his mother's latest boyfriend. Mariner knows Ricky's mother from his days in uniform, so he is less than happy when his superiors - bowing to media pressure - take him the Skeet case and reassign him to the more politically sensitive investigation. The press - and his bosses - seem convinced that Yasmin's disappearance is a racially motivated abduction, especially since the Akhtar's have found themselves the target of the far right and a prominent white supremacist group. Working with Asian liaison officer Jamilla Begum on the more high profile case, Mariner soon discovers that the picture of Yasmin her school-friends paint is far different to her parents claim that she is a total innocent.