The Boy in the River is Richard Hoskins fine account of his involvement in the investigation of the murder of baby “Adam” – a child whose headless torso was found in the Thames, the victim of a ritual sacrifice. Hoskins knowledge of African religions provided particular insight into this case illuminating a particularly vile and little known aspect of human trafficking: that for human sacrifice.
His knowledge, honed through academic research, originated from his work as a missionary in Congo, and his memoir of this time and the tragedy he and his family suffered there is compelling. Towards the end of the book Hoskins leaves, perhaps deliberately, several loose ends in relation to this tragedy. But this is probably fair enough: the book must have been a particularly difficult one to write. As it stands it is an accessible and brave work on one of the darkest aspects of modern society.