Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan

Today it is my great pleasure to share my thoughts on Between Two Evils, the latest Zigic and Ferreira novel from Eva Dolan. a huge thank you to publishers Bloomsbury for providing a copy for review via Netgalley. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

As the country bakes under the relentless summer sun, a young doctor is found brutally murdered at his home in a picturesque Cambridgeshire village.

Is his death connected to his private life – or his professional one?

Dr Joshua Ainsworth worked at an all-female detention centre, one still recovering from a major scandal a few years before. Was he the whistle-blower – or an instigator?

As Detective Sergeant Ferreira and Detective Inspector Zigic begin to painstakingly reconstruct Dr Ainsworth’s last days, they uncover yet more secrets and more suspects. But this isn’t the only case that’s demanding their attention – a violent criminal has been released on a technicality and the police force know he will strike again: the only question is who will be his first victim…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

My Thoughts

I was late coming to the Zigic and Ferreira books (I know – you’re shocked right?) but I have enjoyed catching up with them and the complex cases that they are tasked with solving. Between Two Evils is their first case following the disbandment of the Hate Crimes unit that they previously fronted and yet it doesn’t see them stepping too far beyond their comfort zone, with their main case that of the murder of a Doctor who works in a detention centre for female illegal immigrants. Alongside this perplexing case, the team is pushed to the limit trying to track an absconded suspect and deal with the fall out from a scandal that sees Ferreira faced with an old foe, perhaps one of the most violent she has investigated.

What I have loved about this series is that it is not break neck speed, high action cases that demand the team’s attention. There is a deep rooted kind of emotional intelligence attached to each case, an examination if you like of the rights and wrongs of the kinds of social injustices that we see play out in society. This time around the case is rooted in the growth of violence and resentment towards anyone of a non-white British ethnic origin that has been growing of late, a sad case of art very much imitating life.

The story doesn’t need the scandal of serial killers or grotesque levels of violence to grab the reader’s attention. It’s simplicity amplified through the textured nature of the writing does that. I found myself drawn in by the mystery. It was not the act in itself, albeit a fast and brutal attack, but the many suspects and the twisted way in which the story evolved that kept me glued to the page. It is slower paced, but not without tension. The way in which the author manages to deflect our focus from one suspect to the next, even to the victim, is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Eva Dolan. She has that skill.

She has great skill in drawing her characters too. Zigic and Ferreira are multi faceted, complex characters, each with their own issues and fear, both in and outside of work. For Zigic it is the way the growing racism affects his nearest and dearest, his inability to keep it from his own doorstep affecting both him and his family. Ferreira has issues of her own, struggling a little with memories of her own upbringing, fears of her own deportation and also from a very real and very prominent threat posed against her. It is this latter part which dominates half of the story, the tension pulsating away beneath the surface and keeping everyone on edge.

Suspense if rife throughout the novel, the duplicity of some of the characters often surprising. With corruption and abuse at the centre of everything, it is hard to know who to trust on both sides of the so called law, and there is probably only really one person who never tries to hide their true colours or true intent in the whole story – not that I’d want to come down on their side as a character witness … It keeps things fresh, edgy, but ultimately compelling. This is another cracking story and it is great being back in the company of Zigic and Ferreira again after a break of a couple of years. Hopefully they will be back again soon. If you’ve loved this series so far, you will not be disappointed.

About the Author

Eva Dolan was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger for unpublished authors when only a teenager. The four novels in her Zigic and Ferreira series have been published to widespread critical acclaim: Tell No Tales and After You Die were shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year Award and After You Die was also longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. She lives in Cambridge.

Author Links: Twitter

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