Glasgow, July 1999. Crime journalist Rosie Gilmour is covering a protest by long-term residents against the influx of refugees, many seeking asylum from the turmoil in the Balkans, to Glasgow's notorious Red Road flats. The newcomers are scared of the world they have left, and scared by the increasingly hostile response of their new neighbours to their arrival. The situation brings back strong memories for Rosie, who has only recently returned from reporting on the conflict in Kosovo, and now finds herself confronted by the other end of the refugee problem she witnessed being created.
But if hostility and xenophobia were not enough, it becomes clear to Rosie that something even more sinister is happening when she learns of the disappearance of a number of refugees. The authorities and aid agencies assume that those who have dropped off the radar have disappeared into the black economy, but it emerges that this is not always the case when the mutilated body of an Albanian man turns up in the River Clyde. And what is the connection with the suicide of a lawyer who has made much of his living in recent years working with and representing the interests of the refugees? Rosie finds herself confronted by official disinterest, at best, and drives forward an investigation that brings her into ever increasing personal danger as she begins to unearth the horrifying truth.
"Screams in the Dark" by Anna Smith is her third novel in the series featuring Rosie Gilmour, but you do not need to have read the previous two to enjoy this one. What you find between the covers is a fast paced and thoroughly engaging journey through Glasgow's underworld and the troubled Balkans that keeps you turning the page as it builds to a violent climax. Anna Smith herself is a former chief reporter for Scotland's Daily Record newspaper who has worked in Scotland and covered conflicts abroad. This background is used to excellent effect in creating Rosie Gilmour's world, and the result is a compelling story set against a thoroughly convincing backdrop.