cover image Mouths of Babes

Mouths of Babes

Stella Duffy, . . Bywater/Bloody Brits, $14.95 (214pp) ISBN 978-1-932859-53-9

Repercussions from a teen prank turned deadly fuel the U.S. debut of Duffy's popular U.K. series featuring lesbian investigator Sally “Saz” Martin. Taking a temporary break from cracking cases, Saz happily minds her baby daughter, Matilda, in London while her physician partner, Molly, brings home the bacon. It's a contented life until Janine Marsden, a 20-year-old skeleton from Saz's closet, resurfaces. An emotionally ravaged victim of the sadistic bullying game in which Saz and others participated, Janine first contacts Will Gallagher, the leader of the group and now a TV celebrity. At Will's urging, Saz tracks down their other old classmates, including a filmmaker-turned-teacher and a religious trophy wife. The survivors agree to meet with Janine, hoping to prevent her from contacting the media, but the past refuses to stay buried. Duffy pulls no punches in unraveling this knot of teen brutality, which serves as a potent reminder of the mindless cruelty found both on the playground and in the adult world. (June)