After You Die – Eva Dolan
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 and Harvill Secker for my review copy.
First up the housekeeping. After You Die is the third Zigic and Ferreira book, I have not read the first two (sorry Eva) I most certainly will be reading them soon though as After You Die was my kind of page-turner! Having not read the previous novel (Tell No Tales) I found that there were some minor spoilers as to events that preceded After You Die, nothing which impacted on my enjoyment of After You Die but if you read out of sequence like I did… *spoilers*
Dawn Prentice was brutally murdered. Her daughter Holly was in the house at the time but her severe disability meant that she was unable to call for assistance. While Dawn’s body lies undiscovered Holly is running out of time for someone to come to her rescue – a chilling and horrific premise as Holly is fully aware that something has happened to her mother and that help is seemingly not coming.
Ferreira is returning to work after a prolonged recovery from an injury. She is keen to return to active duty as quickly as possible yet Zigic has some concerns that she may not be fully ready. Dawn Prentice was known to Ferreira – they had previously met when Dawn reported that she was a victim of harassment, Ferreira is now concerned that she may not have done enough for Dawn at the time.
Zigic is chasing down a potential suspect, someone that is seemingly enjoying an unexpected level of protection from another official body – one which carries more clout with Zigic’s boss than Zigic can work around.
Frustrated by their collective lack of progress Zigic and Ferreira get drawn deeper into the family lives of Dawn and Holly and a brilliant domestic thriller comes to the fore. Very much focused upon the personal lives of the key players this is a tightly plotted and very slick story from Eva Dolan. The characters were brilliantly realised, their stories compelling and I needed to know the mystery behind Zigic’s elusive suspect who seemed to hold the key that would unlock all the secrets.
I really enjoyed After You Die, it explored some dark areas tackling them full-on and in unflinching style. I like when a story does not sugar coat sensitive issues for the readers and kudos to any author who will take on these themes.
After You Die is due out early in the New Year – one to watch for as missing this would be a crime. I tend not to ‘score’ the majority of my reviews but I do like to flag titles I will rank at 5/5 – After You Die joins that small band of my top rated reads.
After You Die is published by Harvill Secker and will be available from 21st January 2016 in hardback and digital format.