DCI John Marvel wants to be promoted but he hates the new task his supervisor has given him. Marvel is given the unenviable task of finding his boss’ wife’s missing poodle. 

The humor of this scene contrasts with the grim details of two other missing cases–that of a male toddler, Daniel, and an twelve-year-old girl, Edie, who vanished in the same vicinity. 

Coincidentally, Anna Buck, the mother of the missing boy, and the supervisor’s wife both consult the same “shut eye” or psychic. A natural skeptic, DCI John Marvel calls the “shut eye” a quack.

DCI Marvel is a stereotype who loves stereotypes yet he has a pure heart. He wants to find Edie more than anyone, even if it puts his career in jeopardy.

Ang, who works in a garage with Anna Buck’s husband, is an illegal immigrant who tries yet fails to understand Western ways. Like the story cloth his mother made, Ang’s tragic story is woven into the unusual events that occur in this novel. 

Belinda Bauer’s debut novel Blacklands won a Gold Dagger award.