Dead Right – 1997
On a rainy night in Eastvale, a teenager is found in an alley, smashed over the head with a bottle and then kicked to death. At first it looks like a typical after-hours pub fight gone terribly wrong, but Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Constable Susan Gay quickly learn that the victim, Jason Fox, was a member of a white power organization known as the Albion League. Football-mad Jason, it seems, was very good at his office job–bright, energetic, quick to learn–but was let go because of his racist views. As Banks follows the leads, he comes up with a number of possible suspects: the Pakistani youths Jason had insulted earlier in an Eastvale pub; Jason’s business partner, Mark Wood, and his shady friends; someone in the Albion League itself, someone who resented Jason’s growing power and influence. Or are things even more sinister than they appear? The investigation takes a surprising twist when Banks is mysteriously summoned to Amsterdam, where he is introduced to the bizarre world of cyber-Nazis on the Internet.
As the detectives struggle to solve the mystery of Jason’s death, they also battle their own problems. Susan finds herself in a puzzling relationship with a fellow DC, and tensions that have been brewing for some time between Banks and his wife Sandra finally come to a head. Banks also has to face the challenge of working with Chief Constable Jeremiah “Jimmy” Riddle, a high-flyer who favours a hands-on approach to the job, and who is more concerned with appearances than he is with truth. Just when everything seems cut-and-dried, Banks discovers something that turns the case on its head. Something that might cost him his job.
DEAD RIGHT, published in hardcover in the UK by Constable in August, 1997, in Canada by Penguin Books Canada Ltd. in August, 1997, and in the USA (as BLOOD AT THE ROOT) by Avon books in December, 1997.