After You Die

after you diePublished: 2016
Author: Eva Dolan

Smart, relevant and a great read

I’ve done it again…. I’ve started reading a crime series several books in because I spotted the book on social media and decided that I HAD to read it. This time it’s Eva Dolan’s Zigic and Ferreira series, based in the Peterborough police’s Hate Crimes unit. I’ve come in at book 3, the addictive and troubling After You Die and I’m hooked – even though I’ve missed out on the first two instalments in the series.

A woman and her severely disabled daughter are discovered dead at home, the mother has been murdered and the daughter has died due to a lack of care. Zigic and Ferreira are called into action when it is discovered that the two women had been targeted for low-level hate crimes, including vandalism, based on the daughter’s disability. The investigation is complicated by the mother’s complicated love life and the disappearance from the village of a young boy whose past is shrouded in secrecy.

After You Die has a fabulous premise and delivers on it brilliantly well. Disability hate crimes are still under-reported and acknowledged less than other hate crimes, when I worked for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust I put together some resources on disability hate crime and was stunned at just how much abuse individuals faced. If good is the right word then it’s good that the issue is tackled head on in this book. Being a great thriller though, it’s not quite as simple as one hate crime leading to another and the issue is a start point rather than the entire story.

There were plenty of twists that fitted nicely without seeming like unnecessary red herrings, existing only to put the reader off the scent. The action was really well-paced and it was hard to put the book down. In fact, I finished it at three o’clock one morning. I’m not sure if I was really suffering from insomnia or just had to keep reading.

I did feel that I missed out a little not having read the first two books in the series, although After You Die is a self-contained story and you won’t be left out of the loop by coming to it fresh. I did though wish I was slightly more aware of the relationships between characters, particularly Zigic and his pregnant wife. Don’t let that put you off After You Die, instead use it as the opportunity to pick up and read the whole series – starting with Long Way Home and continuing with Tell No Tales. You know me though, I promise I’ll go back and read the beginnings of series then check distracted by shiny new books.

After You Die is intelligent, relevant and a fantastically good read. I can’t guarantee that I’ll read Zigic and Ferreira 1 and 2, but I’m sold for however many come next.

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