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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

An Angel over Rimini by Patrick Brigham


Synopsis

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Lambert has left the Thames Valley Police Authority and is now working for Europol as a front line Europol Liaison Officer at The Hague. He has left England and, because of his recent divorce, now lives permanently in his holiday villa, in the Calvados region of Northern France.

In An Angel over Rimini, his first case for Europol involves the abduction of a little English girl from a campsite in Riccione in Italy. It is a cold case, which has been reopened due to public pressure, the intervention of the British Government and the agitation of leading English newspapers.

DCI Lambert goes to Rimini to help the State Police to reinvestigate the kidnapping of little Penelope Scratchford, only to find that the investigating authorities are quite determined to blame the parents for her disappearance and murder. It becomes clear - as his investigation progresses - that there are too many unanswered questions and that much of the evidence has been ignored by the original investigating officer, Vice Inspector Daniel Bosola.

Whilst in Italy, DCI Lambert also finds time to catch up with his father’s mysterious past; during his wartime service in Bari as an RAF officer in a Pathfinder Squadron. This reveals some interesting, if not spectacular revelations about his father’s secret wartime exploits and his private peccadillo’s too! For Michael Lambert it is also an awakening, and romance in the shape of Countess Beatrix d’Aragona finally brings the Europol detective back to life emotionally, somehow blotting out the past and his sterile marriage to his ex-wife, Arabella Lambert.

Continuing his pursuit of the missing English girl, his investigations take him to Greece and the established smuggling routes across the Evros River Delta and up into Bulgaria. In Greece he learns about the horrors of organized illegal immigration and people trafficking and the gangsters involved. He also finds out, that these established smuggling routes are also Al Qaida’s way into Greece and the EU.

In his travels he comes across corrupt Lawyers and Orphanages in Bulgaria, but in so doing he also manages to pinpoint an established child trafficking trail which ultimately leads him back to Central Europe. The discovery of an illegal child adoption group in Germany and the criminals who operate it, the information gleaned during his trip through Bulgaria, finally helps DCI Lambert to discover if little Penny Scratchford is still alive or dead.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

An Angel over Rimini by Patrick Brigham

I know that there are people trafficking problems in the US, with many illegal immigrants coming up from the south, but we also have a huge problem in Europe.

To discuss illegal immigration in its broadest economic context is one thing, but to do so - without mentioning the scum who profit from and organize these illegal activities - is to just scratch the surface of the whole horrifying subject. This is because ignorance, foxy politicians and the Yellow Press have made quite reasonable people think, that it is simply a matter of jobs!

Due to various wars and altercations in the Middle East - Iraq, Syria Egypt, North Africa and Afghanistan - many of the dispossessed, oppressed or simply economic migrants have chosen to make their way to Northern Europe, seeking new jobs, security, religious freedom, peace and if at all possible, prosperity. So they pay the traffickers large sums of money,and believe their promises. The result, unfortunately, is  usually disappointing and the reality often fatal.

But victims of abduction also exist within our own European shores and many children are abducted and transported throughout Europe itself. The story of Madi McCann is a good example of how young children can disappear without trace from European soil. Although in her case the trail is becoming a little cold - due to the procrastination of the Portuguese Authorities - it is clear that the Metropolitan Police in London, believe that she could well still be alive.

But I know that abduction and people trafficking is big business. Living close to the Greek border next to European Turkey, I can offer first hand testimony about the misfortune waiting for many  guileless travelers who, due to certain basic English language skills, often wrongly believe that they are on their way to the UK and a bright future.

 
But that is only part of the story and to our everlasting shame, it goes much further into the realms of prostitution, organ harvesting, slave labor, child pornography and forced adoption, with the latter being a very lucrative criminal activity. In my new sequel novel An Angel over Rimini, I tell the reader about the latter category of criminal abduction.

Taking you from Italy to the traditional smuggling points on the Evros Delta in Greece, our little English girl, Penelope Scratchford, suffers further forced transportation not only to Greece, but to Bulgaria and finally into Northern Europe. It is then that we discover how she was first kidnapped in Italy, and her ultimate fate.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Lambert is on the case, but this time for Europol, which is Europe's equivalent of the FBI. But the story is not all black and in fact his journey of discovery is full of life and romance; and also punctuated with hope, as he fathoms out the case, tracks down the culprits and finally discovers the truth about the abduction of Penelope Scratchford!