When a man is found burned to death in a garden shed, Hate Crimes Unit Detective Zigic and bolshie sidekick Ferreira find themselves battling a wall of silence. Investigating an ill-treated and untrusting immigrant population who are slow to give up the truth, the good guys are left with nowhere to go but dead-ends and one-way streets.
With an increasing list of suspects the pair struggle to put the pieces together, but just when they think they’re making progress, the body-count too, begins to climb. In the midst of a politically-charged operation with plenty of voters on both sides, the team unearth a network of slum racketeers and people-trafficking gangs, along with an underlying contempt for human life that can only end one way.
Eva Dolan’s debut novel had me from the word go – her fast-paced thriller grabbed me by the neck, threw me a handful of loose cannons, then stamped on my brain – and that was just the first three pages. Her finely-drawn third-generation hero treads a different path to the usual gritty police procedural – not one of Peterborough’s bog-standard cops, Zigic is a foreigner with a local accent, and in the lopsided Fenland community, that sort of thing can make things easier or a damn sight harder, depending on your point of view.
This is a brilliant first novel and bodes well for the next two books – ‘Tell No Tales’ and ‘After You Die’ are already on my to-be-read list.