Girl Zero is an echo of the recent Rotherham child sex ring scandal with the added complication of a family swept up in the controversy of opposing religions. It is the second novel featuring Harry Virdee, who finds himself torn in multiple directions on both a personal and professional level.
His family, devout Sikhs, are unwilling to acknowledge or accept his wife, a devout Muslim. His wife finds herself in the same position, which means the two of them and their young son have no immediate family to support them or be part of their lives.
The message society should be receiving loud and clear is the number of vulnerable children who are falling prey to gangs of pedophiles and ephebophiles without anyone noticing or as we saw in Rotherham, they would rather deny than accept the reality that this type of crime is on the rise. There are scores of children falling through the cracks in the system, and becoming easy targets for child trafficking rings. The truth is so uncomfortable that the majority would rather look the other way than be confronted with the facts.
Harry finds himself balancing precariously on the boundaries of crime and the rule of law when his latest case turns out to be the corpse of someone who is really close to him. He has to make sure his brother doesn’t break the rules he imposed on him, and juggle the hatred he receives from his family.
It’s really great to read a story with a set of characters that doesn’t fit into the usual and expected format. It makes for a more diverse and different set of problems or scenarios, which in turn allows readers to experience a little less white toasted bread with a bit of butter on it.
It’s a fast-paced thriller with a lot of action, well let’s say brutal beatdowns and characters with a serious lack of control instead.