cover image The Tinderbox

The Tinderbox

Jo Bannister, . . Severn, $27.95 (202pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6387-4

Six years after the disappearance of Laurence Schofield's vivacious \t\t 15-year-old daughter, Cassie, the Birmingham architect desperately chases a \t\t clue to her whereabouts in this socially conscious stand-alone from prolific \t\t British author Bannister (Breaking Faith). \t\t Tom, Cassie's younger brother, believes he spots her in a school documentary \t\t about the homeless in London, and Schofield becomes obsessed with finding his \t\t daughter—opening wounds that he and his wife, Jan, had covered but not \t\t allowed to heal. He leaves Birmingham for London on a search that will take him \t\t to the Tinderbox, the titular brutish underworld even the police fear to enter, \t\t where he forms a relationship with a homeless teenage boy, Jonah, who saves his \t\t life. Schofield's journey rocks his solid middle-class values and notions of \t\t family, and forces him to make difficult moral choices. Bannister once again \t\t proves herself a skilled storyteller in this poignant, memorable story. \t\t (Feb.)