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Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates - Book Tour

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Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence. 

Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth .... and stay alive.  


In the seconds that Hannah had looked away from the cafĂ© and returned her gaze, a man whose profession was obvious from the cameras and paraphernalia he carried with him, had positioned himself near the entrance. Hannah braced herself – there wouldn’t be two photographers with the same rendezvous, would there? – and approached him.
“Mike Laurel?” She smiled and held out her hand to a greyish-haired man in his mid-40s. “Hannah Weybridge.”
“Hi.” He had a lop-sided grin, a firm handshake and a slightly bored look about him. Hannah was immediately aware that she was of little interest to him. “Any idea what this girl looks like?” Hannah shook her head. “Well I expect she’s black with a name like Princess.”
That idea hadn’t occurred to her. She couldn’t think why the name Princess should be associated with black women. Her own daughter was already referred to that way by doting, if absentee, grandparents. The thought of Elizabeth brought a smile to her face. She could almost feel those chubby little hands clasping her neck, that beloved face smiling up at her.
She had been knocked sideways when her parents had announced they were retiring to live in France. It felt like a defection. And they didn’t even speak French. Hannah had been so used to them being just an hour’s drive away, it had come as an uncomfortable awakening to find them no longer within easy reach. She wrenched her mind back to the present and realised that Mike was saying something to her.
“… I only hope she isn’t camera shy. These girls can be unpredictable.” Hannah wondered how much Mike knew about “these girls”. They were a mystery to her, a fact that did little to boost her confidence about the impending interview.

“She is being paid for her time,” she pointed out, remembering the envelope of cash that had been couriered over to her the day before. “And don’t hand it over until you’ve got the story and the photos,” the features editor had warned her. “We don’t want her doing a runner on us.” And don’t forget to get her to sign the receipt, Hannah added mentally.
Her gaze swept the forecourt then settled on two women walking resolutely towards them. They looked an odd pair. Height was the only thing they had in common. Raven-haired Kathy Osborne wore trousers and flat shoes and an expensive-looking designer jacket that Hannah thought she should have been able to recognise but couldn’t. Clearly worn for effect, Hannah thought. It’s totally superfluous in this heat. Ignoring the fact that she’d donned her own jacket to appear more professional.
Her attention passed to the other woman, no more than a girl really, who was almost a caricature of her profession: long blonde hair, minuscule skirt, black body stocking and leather waist pouch. Closer to, Hannah saw she wasn’t wearing a scrap of make-up and her skin was flawless. There were slight shadows under her eyes but her instant, if hesitant, smile was engaging and made her look even younger.


For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both. Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, she has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books. Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind and Death’s Silent Judgement began with a real event followed by a ‘what if …’. That is also the case with the two prize-winning stories: Codewords and Eternal Love.
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