A Dark Redemption, by Stav Sherez. Published 2013 by Europa Editions.
Well, this one's definitely going to end up on my best list this year.
A Dark Redemption
is a gripping, gritty and violent mystery set in contemporary London
involving an African warlord, the phenomenon of child soldiers and a
secret in the past of Detective Jack Carrigan, one of two investigators
assigned to the case of Grace Okele, a Ugandan student found dead and
mutilated in her London flat. His partner, Geneva Miller, has been
assigned to him as a kind of spy, to keep an eye on his work and report
back to her superior. Their relationship forms of the core of the story,
which takes Carrigan back to his student days, a tragic vacation to
Uganda with his friends Ben and David, and more deaths.
Ben and Jack have kept in touch over the years, though their
friendship strains under the weight of their shared trauma and the fact
that Ben is married to the love of Jack's life, Olivia. Their idyllic
family life contrasts with Carrigan's self-imposed solitude.
Why do detectives always have to be bitter single men? Actually they
don't; in the book I'm reading now, Summertime All the Cats Are Bored,
the detective is married with two kids. But I digress. Carrigan is a
more typical example of the slightly misanthropic bitter loner. He
doesn't trust Miller and he shouldn't, but she warms to Carrigan and
they have a very Mulder and Scully vibe which I liked.
aside, it's a great book. It's very suspenseful, full of twists and
turns, and offers a satisfying ending. Carrigan isn't perfect; he makes a
couple of bonehead moves like not telling Ben when pictures of Ben's
kids show up to indicate they're being stalked but you shouldn't worry
too much about that. I loved how the issue of the child soldiers added
urgency and tragedy to the story; I like it when crime writers bring up
social issues and problems and weave them into their page-turning plots.
It makes the books more than just light entertainments; I learn
Anyway I loved this book. The next book in the Carrigan/Miller series, Eleven Days,
is out in the UK now and will be out here next year, but I'm not going
to wait. When I go to London this fall I'm going to be sure to pick it
up right away, and I strongly recommend crime readers pick up A Dark Redemption as soon as possible!
This is my 12th book for the 2013 Europa Challenge.