Dawn Prentice was already known to the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit.
The previous summer she had logged a number of calls detailing the harassment she and her severely disabled teenage daughter were undergoing. Now she is dead – stabbed to death whilst Holly Prentice has been left to starve upstairs. DS Ferreira, only recently back serving on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty, had met with Dawn that summer. Was she negligent in not taking Dawn’s accusations more seriously? Did the murderer even know that Holly was helpless upstairs while her mother bled to death?
Whilst Ferreira battles her demons, determined to prove she’s up to the frontline, DI Zigic is drawn into conflict with an official seemingly resolved to hide the truth about one of his main suspects. Can either officer unpick the truth about mother and daughter, and bring their killer to justice?
A few things drew me to this book. Firstly, I’m a sucker for well written crime/ Police novels, and I’d heard- from my mum, actually- that Eva Dolan is a really good writer whose work fits perfectly into this category. Then, of course, there’s the fact that it’s set in Peterborough, which is my hometown (well, homecity actually). I was intrigued to see how I’d enjoy it, and hopeful that I’d find a new favourite author and series. I’m pleased to say I found both!
Firstly, the writing in After You Die is really great. Well-crafted sentences are woven into an intriguing and fast-paced plot. Dolan includes just the right amount of grittiness without it being too much, though the content is pretty harrowing at times!
I really enjoyed reading about the characters. Di Zigic seems a really likeable Detective that I can imagine wanting to read more about, though he definitely works too much and therefore neglects his family a bit- the usual trait of those in his profession, it seems! Nevertheless he continued to be a sharp, intelligent character whose journey to solving the case is a really interesting one. His team are equally enjoyable to read about, with fiery Ferreira being a bit too hot-headed at times but providing an excellent aide to Zigic.
As I mentioned before, some of the content surrounding the crime and the events leading up to it is quite gritty, but I feel it’s done well throughout. It may not have made Peterborough look like the safest, quietest place to live in the world, but it made for excellent reading!
I’ll certainly be reading the first 2 novels in the DI Zigic and DS Ferreira series, which are titled Long Way Home (1) and Tell No Tales (2).
A sharp, engaging crime read which I’d highly recommend.
[My Review: 5/5]
** Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review **
After You Die is out now.