St. Martin's, Jan 2002, 23.95, 256 pp.
Louise Barrat has been on the London police force for six years going from a street bobby to a member of the child protection unit. She has seen and heard all the misery an adult can do to a child and is dangerously close to suffering from total burnout. Her latest case is one of the worst cases she has ever witnessed. Ten-year-old Candy was raped and tortured and it is Louise's job to look after the child's best interests by steering her gently through the judicial system.
One day Louise is talking to two hookers, trying to find out if any underage prostitutes has come into the area. While conversing, a John comes over and Louisa walks away. The next thing she knows is the John has her in a back alley trying to force himself on her because she walked away from him. It's clear he doesn't know she's a police officer and since she has no proof to share with him, she flips him into the ally and walks away very upset. That incident although she doesn't know it yet, will change the rest of her life.
This first person narrative will grab the attention of the reader from the very first page because the protagonist is such a sympathetic and likable character. Lucy Harkness is able to use the written word to make the audience feel the pain and suffering police officers go through in pursuit of their job. THE HAPPY PIGS is a refreshing and unusual work that stimulates the readers' intellect as much as their feelings.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner