She's Leaving Home (Breen and Tozer)
London, 1968: The body of a teenage girl is found just steps away from the Beatles' Abbey Road recording studio.
The police are called to a residential street in St John's Wood where an unidentified young woman has been strangled. Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen believes she may be one of the many Beatles fans who regularly camp outside Abbey Road Studios. With his reputation tarnished by an inexplicable act of cowardice, this is Breen's last chance to prove he's up to the job.
Breen is of the generation for whom reaching adulthood meant turning into one's parents and accepting one's place in the world. But the world around him is changing beyond recognition. Nothing illustrates the shift more than Helen Tozer, a brazen and rambunctious young policewoman assisting him with the case. Together they navigate a world on edge, where conservative tradition gives way to frightening new freedoms--and troubling new crimes.
upset me.” “I’m sorry,” said Breen. “’S OK. I don’t mind.” A car drove past at speed. There was a puddle by the gutter; Breen grabbed Tozer’s arm and pulled her back from the edge of the pavement just before the wheel hit the water, splashing it in an arc onto the slabs where she would have been walking. “Thank you,” she said. “You can let go now.” He released her arm. They had stopped outside a small shop selling doll parts. A hundred different eyes peered out from a green baize board,
abroad, but the more he looked, the more he saw the little details: a pint of milk, a copy of The Times on a dining table. Then Mallory began appearing as part of the gang. The first photo of him was of a younger Mallory in an old open-top MG, grinning at the camera. Another of him on a yacht, knife between his teeth. One at the chalet, dressed as a tribesman in a grass skirt, holding a spear. It was taken before his chest had turned to flab. A couple of pages later there was a photograph of a
his left. “Mr. Ezeoke,” he called. Ezeoke’s head turned. He frowned, as if at first the surgeon did not recognize him. He was in conversation with a dark-haired woman of about thirty who wore a lime-green minidress and a gold necklace. Ezeoke towered over her. “Detective Sergeant Breen,” Breen said, holding out his good hand to Ezeoke in case Ezeoke did not remember him. “You look pale, Mr. Breen. Is there anything the matter with you?” The woman smiled. “A detective, Sam? You’ve not been
conversation.” “He admires you.” Ezeoke began to dance as Breen stood woodenly on the dance floor. “He was telling you that I was not a true Biafran, I expect.” “He said you were raised in England.” “The mother country,” he said, unsmiling. A cheer went up from the Africans as a new record started. “Do you like high-life music?” shouted the dapper young man dancing with Tozer. Above the polyrhythmic tumble of guitars and drums Breen could hear a chorus singing in a language he did not
started to run again in the direction they had seen him disappear into—following signs that read Baggage Reclaim. They were in a corridor that somehow seemed to be suspended above the tarmac. Windows to the left-hand side looked out over runways and planes, where passengers streamed downstairs into waiting buses. They rounded a corner and before he knew what was happening, Breen went flying into a mop bucket that a cleaner had left by the side of the wall, falling awkwardly. He came down on his