I was offered a review copy of Eva Dolan’s second novel in the Zigic and Ferreira, Tell No Tales, series a long time ago, actually, last year. I had never heard either of the series or of Dolan, so I thought I would rather wait to learn more about the series before reading the book. It was a huge mistake.
‘Zigic and Ferreira’ stands for DI Zigic and DS Ferreira from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit, and in Tale No Tales they face the mysterious hit-and-run of a young, Eastern-European. It sounds like a no-brainer since the victim’s sister, and actually a few other witnesses, survived the attack. However, the investigation will take Zigic and Ferreira into the UK’s most conservative and nationalist political parties, closely related to neo-nazi groups.
If you have been reading this blog for some time, you can more or less guess my politics. And Tell No Tales makes a fantastic job of highlighting and criticizing the turn to right-wing politics and parties that has plagued Europe in the last decade. Dolan puts her two main detectives – both descendants from migrants and with names that immediately call them out as non-Anglo-Saxons – face to face with the covert racial discourses that have recently gained power. Because, one thing that Dolan makes very clear is that discriminatory political discourses are a subtext to the actual political discourse. It is not often that crime fiction does such a textual and ideological analysis of present-day politics, so I was very pleased to see that current issues are being inscribed in modern crime fiction.
The other thing that called my attention is Dolan’s decision to have two main characters who work at the Hate Crimes Unit instead of at Homicides. I can’t remember any other detective doing this type of job, even though hate crimes – in which I include domestic violence – are an issue, they are not as glamorous or attractive to the reader. In Tell No Tales there is a hard job to do, and although Dolan builds on the glamour of over-worked, over-caffeinated police detective work, she makes it clear that Zigic and Ferreira are facing a disgusting side of society.
So, even though I have not read Zigic and Ferriera #1, I loved Tell No Tales and I highly recommend it anyone who loves crime fiction and wants to diversify their shelves. If you want to read a review about book #1 Long Way Home, Sarah Ward said, after reading it, that Zigic and Ferreira could become her favourite detectives!