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King of the Badgers

by Philip Hensher

Hanmouth seems a perfect picture postcard retirement spot, but out of sight of CCTV cameras, the Bears hold gay sex orgies fuelled by drugs, residents' secret lives are revealed and its safe and respectable image is questioned.Then an 8 year old girl disappears, abduction and paedophilia are uncovered and a dark, disturbing reality is exposed. If you like realistic social fiction, you'll find this a gripping read shot through with humour.

Extract

Mauro gave the door to the toilet a long, penetrating stare as if some solution to his situation, to his future and to his past might lie behind it; and at that exact moment a policewoman came out of the men's toilet. Mauro caught a glimpse inside; there was a huge, lumpish shape, lying without ceremony on the floor, a blanket over what must be a face and torso, but leaving the trouser legs uncovered in their vivid and surely unique scarlet.

Parallels

Offshore by Penelope Fitgerald
There but for the by Ali Smith
 

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