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Christmas in Wigan. The snow is falling, the Christmas market is doing a roaring trade. Holly and mistletoe decorating all the stalls and the shoppers spending cash they can ill afford. Lasser's love life is on the up and for once all is well with the world.
But soon the snow will be stained red, someone is out to settle old scores, someone, who cares little for the lives of others.
A local drug user finds himself homeless but a surprising offer of a huge sum of money from an unknown benefactor looks set to change his life. All he has to do is kill someone.
The Salvation Army are playing carols, getting everyone into the Christmas spirit. Everyone except one woman. Ann Stevenson isn't happy. The love of her life, her son Simon, has left home and moved in with a woman, Molly. If that wasn't bad enough, Molly's father has given Simon a job on a building site! After all her hard work making sure Simon had the best of starts, the thought of her precious son wearing steel, toe-capped boots and a hard hat is a bitter pill to swallow.
So, when she finds the man on her doorstep she is in no mood for cold canvassers, although DCI Bannister isn’t selling anything, he's there to break bad news, news that will leave Ann Stevenson in mind-twisting hysterics as her world comes crashing down.
Someone has murdered her golden boy and there is no sign of Molly Walton.
As the case unfolds and the killer continues to ply his trade, the threads will pull Lasser into a past so twisted that he fears he will never find a way back to the here and now. As the church bells chime and the town in buried under a blanket of white, he must trust his instincts to get to the truth before it is too late. Before anyone else gets caught up in the tangled web of hatred and violence. But sometimes even gut feelings can't be relied upon to save those closest to you. 

Living Ashes