Norman Stokoe has just been appointed Children's Czar by the new government. He sells his flat and moves up north to take up the position. However before his first salary cheque has even hit his bank account, new priorities are set for the government department for which he works. The Children's Czar network is put on hold but it is too late to reverse the decision to employ Norman.
So he is given a P.A. and a spacious office in a new business park on the banks of the Tyne. He settles down in his new leather chair behind his new desk, to wait for the green light to begin his mission. The green light never comes. What does happen is that two children go missing. As Children's Czar, surely this case should fall within his remit, but Norman has built a career on doing nothing, on stamping pieces of paper with "send to the relevant department". Now, faced with a campaigning journalist and a distraught mother, he is forced to become involved. The search will take him to dark places and will make him ask questions about the system he is supposed to uphold.
Read by David Timson. David Timson has recorded numerous audiobooks and poetry compilations and has recording the complete Sherlock Holmes stories for Naxos. He wrote The History of the Theatre, which won an award for most original production from the Spoken Word Publishers Association in 2001. His production of Richard III won Best Drama Award from the SWPA in 2001 and in 2002 he won the Audio of the Year Award for his reading of A Study in Scarlet.
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Strange but listenable.
The whodunit style storytelling of the child abductions.
The most interesting was the terrifying yet scarily and in most cases accurate manner that missing children and their families get judged and pushed to one side by the authorities. Least interesting would be some of the characters back stories.
I felt this book was conflicted in its genre and I don't think it flowed well because of that, one minute you're engrossed in this Prime Suspect style abduction case, the next its like an episode of most haunted. I enjoy both mystery and supernatural stories but the 2 together is difficult to pull off and the contrast in this case stopped me from fully enjoying the story, but i did not hate it.
- Victoria Hulland
Chilling but excellent