Published 14th January 2016 by Harvill Secker
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?
My thanks to Eva Dolan and her publishers for my review copy.
This is the third in the extremely satisfying and very contemporary crime series by Eva Dolan. Anyone who has not read the first two books in the series really should get their hands on them. Dolan tackles up to date social issues with panache and sensitivity. This time it is disability hate crime.
Ferreira and Zigic have a new case in the Hate Crimes department. A mother is murdered brutally in her home. Her disabled teenage daughter is left to die in her bed. The daughter has been targeted by online trolls. Ferreira had been called to the house before to investigate, as the car had been vandalised. A shocking case for the pair. Who would want to kill a mother? And was the daughter left to die deliberately or unintentionally?
There is much to digest. We get a variety of suspects, drawn from the locals and the close friends of the mother. Among them is a young boy with a dubious and secretive past and someone abusing the daughter nastily online. From online trolling, to disability debates to assisted suicide and fostering young people, there is a great deal to take on board. Eva Dolan manages to bring freshness and a heap of pathos to this mix. I do not think anyone will easily guess whodunnit.
What is cleverly done is the history of the mother and daughter. They are not just victims. We see how difficult it was for the mum to cope raising her daughter mostly alone, following her marriage breakdown. We start to understand what it was like going from being an active person to one with disabilities and the emotional impact of this. All very moving and revealing how skilful a writer Eva Dolan is.
Completely recommended. A must read series!