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In the quiet Sussex country town of Kingsmarkham,  the daughter of Nigerian physician Raymond Akande  is missing. "It's probably nothing, "  says Dr. Akande to his friend and client Chief  Inspector Wexford, whose help he enlists.  

But the days that follow prove the doctor  dreadfully wrong. A young woman is found  murdered not Melanie, but the last person to have seen and  spoken to her. A second woman's body is discovered,  again not Melanie's, but like her, young and  black. A third woman turns up beaten and unconscious;  like the others, she is of Nigerian origin. As  Inspector Wexford's investigation stretches from  days into weeks, it becomes his unhappy obligation to  counter the hopes of the doctor and his wife. In  Wexford's professional opinion, Melanie, like the  other young women, has become the victim of a  serial killer with a horrifyingly singular objective.

From the Paperback edition.

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