35) The Intrusions by Stav Sherez
Towards the end of last year, I discovered Stav Sherez’s Carrigan and Miller series, and ended up reading the first two in the series, A Dark Redemption and Eleven Days which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve been saving up the third instalment, The Intrusions as a summer holiday treat, and I’m delighted to say it’s even better than the first two. It’s probably the best crime / police procedural novel I’ve read this year and, if you don’t believe me, you can trust the judges of the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year award, which recently gave this the big prize. [Incidentally, The Long Drop by Denise Mina can’t have been far behind, and I love the Mick Herron series too…]
This definitely feels like a step on from the previous Carrigan and Miller books, almost like Sherez has relaxed into the characters now. The two main protagonists feel fully formed, and any on-off chemistry isn’t forced, but subtly referenced as we focus more on their individual struggles. And the ‘supporting cast’ are great too, with the specialist in tech-meets-horrific crimes being particularly memorable (and dark).
Dark is generally the word – you may well leave this book wanting to disconnect yourself from the internet, cover up your webcams with tape, and delete all your social media profiles. Not for nothing did Ian Rankin call it a ‘Silence of the Lambs for the internet age’. The main plot is tighter and more propulsive than the previous books, and I was completely gripped in the final stages – it starts with the disappearance of Anna Becker, a young aspiring actor, and spirals into something much darker and more complicated. And that ‘something’ is all the more resonant in a world of #MeToo, trolling and the dark web.
Sherez is adept at finding the right balance between a narrative that won’t let go of the reader, a gradual deepening of our understanding of the key characters, and a depth that comes from an exploration of issues of social justice, politics and the present we live in. At this point, I’m all in; and if you like a crime novel, so should you be. Book 4 can’t come soon enough.
BUY IT NOW: The Intrusions (Carrigan & Miller Book 3)