Review: Eva Dolan – Long Way Home

long-way-home-pbkI’m so far behind on books that I want to read that my TBR pile is actually now a bookcase that’s spilling over to a second. It’s great to have plenty to read but it means that I’m missing out on some great books while I catch up. Eva Dolan’s debut novel Long Way Home appeared on many bloggers’ lists as a highlight of 2014. She has since published her sequel, Tell No Tales, but last month I finally got around to reading her debut. And I can see what all the fuss was about. Long Way Home follows the great tradition of police detective duos but addresses the modern issue of immigrants exploited for cheap labour.

A man is found burnt alive in a shed in Peterborough. Detectives Zigic and Ferreira from the Hate Crimes Unit are tasked with finding the killer of the victim who is identified as being from the immigrant community. But locals close ranks when asked questions about their treatment of migrant workers and gang masters focus on ensuring their interests remain protected.

Long Way Home is an interesting book in that Dolan steer clears of the predictable. Another writer might have had a single ethnic minority detective to contrast their work with the crime they are investigating. But Dolan has her two central characters from Serbian and Portugese backgrounds. Both encounter subtle incidents of racism from the community which ramps up the tension further.

The writing is excellent. I don’t normally quote passages of text in my reviews but there were plenty of examples in this book of sentences that could be lifted out in terms of quality. Particularly good are Dolan’s observations of the local British population who turn a blind eye to what is going on around them.

Long Way Home is that start of a series featuring Zigic and Ferreira. I’ll definitely be reading Tell No Tales to see how the series develops. These detectives could well become favourites of mine.

 

 

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24 thoughts on “Review: Eva Dolan – Long Way Home

  1. I was also a latecomer to the Eva Dolan fan club, but have just read both of them and am completely converted. Very realistic depiction of all the tensions of contemporary Britain, and a great, dense style.

  2. Sarah, I have read a few reviews of this debut novel by Eva Dolan. It’d be interesting to read about two immigrant detectives investigating the murder of an immigrant victim. A Serb and a Portuguese seems like an odd combination.

  3. Sarah – You’re not the only one with an outsized TBR… I’m glad you enjoyed this novel, and as always, thanks for the thoughtful review of it. I do like novels that go a little deeper than traditional looks at immigrant communities.

  4. How great! I started Tell No Tales today and I’m finding it quite different, in the best of ways. I love Ferreira, and although I feel a little bit lost – haven’t read Long Way Home – I am enjoying it a lot.

  5. I am with realthog, only two bookcases of TBR? I have heard that the Eva Dolan books are good but have resisted adding a new book and author to my stacks so far. Your review is confirmation that I should be looking for this book soon.

  6. This sounds like a good one to me, adding it to my own TBR list. Hope I find it at the library, as I hid my credit card from myself and swear to read books I have acquired through various means, including from kind readers.
    But this one I’m definitely reading.

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