This London novel, replete with distressing topics and disturbed characters, begins with the dumping of a bag of aborted fetuses on a heath and ends with the sale of a newborn baby to a childless couple. Christopher Moore happens upon the ghastly bag and takes a female fetus home for proper burial. For 17 years, he has mourned the daughter aborted by his ex-girlfriend, Angela, a woman whose memory he nonetheless still cherishes. The guilt of seeing Christopher so heartbroken by this loss led Angela to break off their relationship and eventually marry another man. When Christopher later seeks her out, their passion rekindles as Angela acknowledges the lovelessness of her marriage. Their lives intersect with Crackle and Tamara, a truly impoverished young couple who deal in drugs and Satan worship and whose stupidities contribute to the sickening neglect of their baby daughter. Townsend (The Queen and I, LJ 1/94) has a gift for stark, depressing narrative while depicting lower-class ignorance and championing the rights of children. This is a gripping story from start to finish. Recommended for large fiction collections.ÄSheila M. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.