It’s all good when one of our writers lays down her critic’s pen and writes her own novel. There can hardly have been a more stunning debut than this, by Eva Dolan. Scene – the teeming but unglamorous East Anglian city of Peterborough, on the edge of the huge agricultural prairie of Fenland. Characters – thousands of migrants from Eastern Europe, unscrupulous gangmasters and rich farmers who don’t care who picks their asparagus, so long as they do it on the cheap.
Two overworked coppers – DI Zigic and DS Ferreira – from the city’s Hate Crime unit, investigate a mysterious death by arson, but uncover a much more complex web of criminality, abuse, and trafficking. Superbly researched and uncannily topical, this book was a huge hit with our writer Crime Fiction Lover, who called it, “utterly gripping and totally convincing.” His full review is here.