Ann Granger: Keeping Bad Company (UK 1998)
From the Publisher:
Fran Varady knows that making friends with down-and-out Alkie Albie Smith on Marylebone Station concourse is probably not a wise move. But Fran, who knows what it's like not to have the price of a cup of tea, is a soft touch - and anyway, apart from his personal hygiene, he's an entertaining enough companion to pass the time of day with as she waits to meet her friend's train. But Albie has a disturbing tale to tell that has an unnerving ring of truth: he claims to have witnessed the violent kidnapping of a young girl. He can even describe the car - a blue Cortina with a scrape down one side. Like Albie, Fran can't get the image out of her mind, so much so that, despite her reluctance to cross its threshold, she goes to the police station to report what she's been told, only to be met with aggressive ridicule from her old sparring partner Sergeant Parry. Then, outside a nearby pub she spots a blue Cortina with a white scrape - and seeing its owner does little to allay her fears. Two days later she is approached by an old friend of her father, distraught because his daughter has been kidnapped, and things begin to add up. Then Alkie Albie is found dead...
Ann Granger: Keeping Bad Company. A Fran Varady Crime Novel. Headline, ISBN: 0747255768 (February, 1998), 311 p., £6.99.