Monday, August 06, 2018

Review: The Intrusions by Stav Sherez

The Intrusions by Stav Sherez, February 2018, 352 pages, Faber & Faber, ISBN: 0571297277

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Amazon blurb:

When a distressed young woman arrives at their station claiming her friend has been abducted, and that the man threatened to come back and 'claim her next', Detectives Carrigan and Miller are thrust into a terrifying new world of stalking and obsession.

Taking them from a Bayswater hostel, where backpackers and foreign students share dorms and failing dreams, to the emerging threat of online intimidation, hacking, and control, The Intrusions explores disturbing contemporary themes with all the skill and dark psychology that Stav Sherez's work has been so acclaimed for.

Under scrutiny themselves, and with old foes and enmities re-surfacing, how long will Carrigan and Miller have to find out the truth behind what these two women have been subjected to?

Stav Sherez's third published novel, A DARK REDEMPTION, which was the first in a London-based police procedural series, was published in 2012 and shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2013. The second in the "Jack Carrigan and Geneva Miller" series, ELEVEN DAYS, was published in 2013 and I was very impressed with it. THE INTRUSIONS, published in 2017, has recently won the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2018.

I was also very impressed by THE INTRUSIONS, the only problem I had with it was the difficulty in remembering all that had occurred in the previous book as Detective Inspector Jack Carrigan, is still having to undergo the indignity of being investigated for apparent breaches of procedure that occurred in the previous story.

However, that is a subplot that takes away from the main investigation into the murders that happened at the Bayswater hostel. As usual, Carrigan and Miller develop their own theories behind what they think happened and investigate the facts as they feel they lead. However, the head of the department, Superintendent Branch, believes the enquiry needs outside psychological help and therefore insists that a profiler be added to the team. Unfortunately, the one assigned is a person that Carrigan has a terrible personal history with.

Carrigan and Miller, 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.

I'm really disappointed that the author doesn't release his books with the frequency of other mystery authors as the quality of the research and detail and sheer readability of his stories is really to be envied by many other less gifted writers. I just could not put this really gripping story down. Please Stav, don't leave it four years before the next Carrigan and Miller story comes out. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Terry Halligan, August 2018.

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