Sherez, Stav - 'Eleven Days'
This superior new police procedural, the sequel to A DARK REDEMPTION, starts with DI Jack Carrigan on a rare day's leave in a very cold and snowy period shortly before Christmas visiting his sick mother in hospital and ignoring his mobile phone. His partner DS Geneva Miller, has been urgently trying to contact him as their boss Superintendent Branch has ordered him to come in. Late in the day Carrigan puts his mobile on and sees her calls. It turns out that the Assistant Chief Constable has demanded that Jack take charge on an investigation into a fire at a convent. The convent has been deliberately burnt to murder the ten nuns that reside there. However, the body of an eleventh person is discovered on an another floor in the building and the SOCO team discover a lot of indications of cocaine deposits.
Jack and Geneva go there, and the firemen are still making sure the flames are brought under control. Jack sees the crowd of onlookers watching the activities and orders one of the policemen to video-film the spectators as he believes that arsonists enjoy the sense of the moment and like to appreciate that their activity has achieved the purpose they want. The ACC when he requested Jack, told him that it was important that his investigation was concluded by Christmas as the press would be following the progress of it and in order to achieve that all leave for his team was cancelled until further notice. This notice does not enthuse the team but they get on with it. The pressure Jack is under from the ACC and the Superintendent is immense.
Jack Carrigan briefs his team on the terrible murder of the nuns and they begin investigating all possible leads to trace the arsonists before he can do another dreadful crime again. There are suspicions that organised crime may have been involved as the nuns had been involved in trying to stop drug dealing from happening near the convent. There were links with Peru. Also the nuns may have been sheltering illegal immigrants forced into prostitution. There was also indications that several of the nuns had been tortured many years previously and this was a lead that was been looked into.
Jack and Geneva, the lead detectives, separately pursue different leads to save resources and it is very intriguing how each fact in the case in unearthed and how apparently unconnected details do eventually come together. They explore a lot of data and I particularly enjoyed the forensic intensity of this, which is normally skirted around in other books. The interaction of Carrigan and Miller is also interesting and of course there are tensions there as the chemistry between the two who spend many hours in each other's company can be problematic. Still it all comes to a most satisfactory conclusion and all the loose ends are eventually tied up. This is a very cleverly plotted book which I found most enjoyable. It was one that once you start it is very difficult to put down. Especially recommended.
Terry Halligan, England