Danger by Association by Heather Burnside — Reviewed by Guy Portman
For the past five years Rita has been living in Greece with her husband Yansis and young son Daniel. But now her brother John is getting married, and Rita has reluctantly returned to Manchester for the event. She is determined to enjoy the trip, and above all to steer clear of the city’s Riverhill Estate where the tumultuous events of the prequel, A Gangster’s Grip, took place.
However, when Daniel faces mortal danger, she has no choice but to return to the area and confront her past. Will Rita be able to save her son in time? Sources of potential salvation include John, but there is a conflict of interest as he is in law enforcement.
Danger by Association is the final part of a Manchester-based crime trilogy. Fast-paced, realistic and compelling, it effortlessly captures the zeitgeist of the 1990s. In addition to vibrant and vivacious protagonist Rita and her dependable friend Julie, the book boasts an array of new colourful, contrasting and convincing characters.
By skilfully blurring the divisions between victim and perpetrator the author, as in the first two instalments, successfully elicits sympathy for several of the book’s more unsavoury specimens.