Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on One Half Truth, the latest Zigic and Ferreira novel from Eva Dolan. My thanks to publisher Raven Books for the advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
When the police are called to the report of a late-night shooting, they expect it to be drugs or gang-related. They don’t expect to find a young student executed on his way home.
Jordan Radley was an aspiring journalist: hard working, well-liked, dedicated. His first major story – looking at the fallout following the closure of a major local factory – had run recently and looked to be the first step in his longed-for career. Even after the story ran, Jordan continued to stay in contact with those he interviewed: he was on his way back from their social club the night he was murdered.
But as the detectives quickly discover, not only was Jordan killed, but those responsible also broke into his house, taking his laptop and notes. What was he researching that might have led to his death? And can this really be linked to another case – long ruled an accident – in the same area?
Or are the police being forced to prioritise those with the best connections rather than the ones that most need their help?
I really enjoy reading the Zigic and Ferreira series of books and the two central characters are Detectives who stay in the mind long after the final page is turned. Whilst the focus of their investigations may no longer be hate crimes, their old unit having been disbanded as many specialist teams in the Police have been over the years, these are still stories full of heart, with a real socio-economic focus and a strong sense of justice which emanates from the lead characters.
This time around our Detective duo are investigating the murder of a young journalism student. There is no logic to the attack, the murder being committed with a replica gun and the perpetrator leaving all of his possessions at the scene. Or at least most of them. The Detectives are quickly able to identify the victim but motive is the one thing that eludes them, at least at first. The more they dig into his past, the more potential motives present themselves and the twistier the story seems to become.
At the centre of the story we are faced with a cast of characters who have all been a victim of circumstance over the years. Focusing on the decline of industry within Peterborough and the very polar fates of the top brass compared to the guys from the workshop floor, it brings us front and centre to a story that is sadly all too believable and all to readily present in modern life. We’ve never been far from one or another headline of businesses closing or relocating which adds a kind of authenticity to the story we are reading. There is plenty of mystery and plenty of misdirection, some of the suspects with seemingly far more to lose than others, but whether any of this is the reason for Jordan’s death remains to be seen.
I really liked the way in which Eva Dolan has explored the differing attitudes of Zigic and Ferreira this time around. Zigic seems almost resigned to what is happening whilst we get a growing anger in Ferreira over almost everything, from Brexit, to the right to stay documentation she and her family have been forced to complete, even the lack of progress in decorating her her home. Zigic remains a calming influence, but you do get the impression of Ferreira being constantly on edge and there may be no limits as to how far she is willing to go to see justice done, sometimes blind to the truth by her determination to nail the person or people she feels is responsible.
This is another fab book and a great addition to the series. Whilst it is not a fast paced read, it did hold my focus, made me question everything as I read and I almost felt myself channelling Ferreira’s anger at times due to the way in which those with money and power seemed to constantly try to dictate the course of the investigation. That determination of Ferreira, to never forget the ultimate victim in all of this investigation, really did make this story for me and the ending, whilst not procedurally sound, really did make me smile. A fitting way to end it, although I’m sure the repercussions may be long felt.
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.