Year 2 / Book 37: A Dark Redemption

37) A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez

I’ve been running behind on reviews, as work has been a bit busy, but am catching up gradually on books I’ve read. This is a really good police procedural by Stav Sherez, a British crime writer I hadn’t heard of until stumbling across on the Guardian books pages (hat tip Laura Wilson, as ever). The duo of Carrigan and Miller come together in this first book in a series (I’m downloading the others soon), and it’s a really fascinating tale, weaving convincing back stories with excellent characterisation and a plot with enough to keep you guessing.

The depth and interest that raises this above more standard fare comes from the centrality of African politics to it, and how that plays out (murderously, of course) in today’s London – and doing so without lapsing into stereotype and simplicity. So a girl studying in London who’s looking into child soldiers and civil wars is found dead, and from there a web of links spins out connecting factions, the Foreign Office, the detectives and more besides.

Carrigan and Miller as a partnership work for me, although they venture a bit near cliche at times (Carrigan, emotional and hotheaded; Miller, more reserved and cerebral), and I can see that the ‘will they, won’t they’ romance will irritate unless it’s done well. But they are both rounded enough with enough back story to give character as well as plot interest. I’m looking forward to the next.

Score: 7/10

BUY IT NOW:  A Dark Redemption (Carrigan & Miller Book 1)

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