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This is Patrick Brighams often disturbing, but facinating story about child abduction and people trafficking in Europe. Once more DCI Mike Lambert - now working for Europol in Holland - is on the trail of the little English girl, Penelope Scratchford. In this third murder mystery in a series, he follows her trail through South Eastern Europe and the Balkans, in order to discover if she is alive or dead. But, our English policeman also manages to find love and some personal adventure - despite an acromonious divorce from Arrabella, his aquisative and unfaithful ex-wife - with the loverly Countess Beatrix who he meets in Italy.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Lambert has left the Thames Valley Police Authority and is now working for Europol as a front line Europol Liaison Officer at The Hague. He has left England and, because of his recent divorce, now lives permanently in his holiday villa, in the Calvados region of Northern France.
In An Angel over Rimini, his first case for Europol involves the abduction of a little English girl from a camp site in Riccione in Italy. It is a cold case, which has been reopened due to public pressure, the intervention of the British Government and the agitation of leading English newspapers.
DCI Lambert goes to Rimini to help the State Police to reinvestigate the kidnapping of little Penelope Scratchford, only to find that the investigating authorities are quite determined to blame the parents for her disappearance and murder. It becomes clear - as his investigation progresses - that there are too many unanswered questions and that much of the evidence has been ignored, by the original investigating officer, Vice Inspector Daniel Bosola.
Whilst in Italy, DCI Lambert also finds time to catch up with his father’s mysterious past, during his wartime service in Brindisi as an RAF officer in a Pathfinder Squadron. This reveals some interesting, if not spectacular revelations about his father’s secret wartime exploits and his peccadillo’s too! For Michael Lambert it is also an awakening, and romance in the shape of Countess Beatrix d’Aragona finally brings the Europol detective back to life emotionally, somehow blotting out the past and his sterile marriage to Arabella Lambert.
Continuing his pursuit of the missing English girl, his investigations take him to Greece and the established smuggling routes through the Evros River Delta up into Bulgaria. In Greece he discovers the horrors of organized illegal immigration and people trafficking and the gangsters involved. He also finds out, that these established smuggling routes are also Al Qaida’s way into Greece and the EU.
In his travels he comes across corrupt Lawyers and Orphanages in Bulgaria, but in so doing he also manages to pinpoint an established child trafficking trail which ultimately leads him back to Central Europe. The discovery of an illegal child adoption group in Hanover and the criminals who operate it, the information gleaned during his trip through Bulgaria, helps DCI Lambert to learn if little Penny Scratchford is still alive or dead.
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