Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Review of Eleven Days by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber, 2013)
Eleven Days is the second book in the Carrigan and Miller series. Like the first book, Sherez uses the format of a police procedural and London’s diverse population to shine a light on fairly weighty political and social issues. In this case, the political turmoil and violence in Peru during the 1970s and the role of liberation theology and the contemporary movement of Albanian criminals into London’s underworld and sex trafficking. Both provide a menacing backdrop to Carrigan and Miller’s investigation into the death of ten nuns and an unknown young woman. Hindering their investigation is the intransigence of the Catholic Church to share information about the nuns or their work and internal police politics. The result is an engaging and compelling tale full of gritty realism in which the politics is a crucial element of the story but never overly dominates it at its expense. Moreover, Carrigan and Miller make for an interesting pairing as they battle their own personal demons. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the denouement, which I felt had one twist too many, but nonetheless a superior, thought-provoking, edge-of-seat police procedural that had me staying up late to keep the pages turning.