This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian
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A probationary constable hunts down a serial killer in fog-shrouded London; an ex-jailbird searches for a missing daughter; and the return of DC Connie Childs
The streets of London in December 1952 were choked with smog. In Dominick Donald’s remarkably accomplished debut novel Breathe (Hodder & Stoughton, £17.99), they are also stalked by a serial killer, one who has been quietly plying his trade since the blitz and is now preying on those left vulnerable in the current peasouper. Probationary constable Dick Bourton, trying to make a new life for himself after the horrors of the Korean war, is landed with the Notting Dale beat, the “division’s scruffiest end ... poor, creaky, full of minor villainy and generations of grudges”. Trudging through this west London area that is “all Scotch mist and glistening roofs … If you found the right spot you could almost be a lookout in a crow’s ...