‘Long Way Home’ is Eva Dolan’s debut novel and the first in a series featuring DI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira of the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit.
Some areas of Peterborough are heavily populated by migrant workers and there is plenty of work for the overstretched Hate Crimes Unit.
When the Barlow’s garden shed burns down and a burnt body is found in the wreckage, the body is quickly identified as Jaan Stepulov, an Estonian man who was living in the shed. A neighbour called the fire brigade. The Barlow’s bedroom window overlooked the shed but they claimed not to have noticed the fire.
When Zigic and Ferreira try to find out about Stepulov, they are met with silence. Many of those in the migrant community have grown up fearing those in authority.
What they eventually discover is more murders, migrants living in appalling conditions, migrants treated as slaves and young migrant women forced into prostitution. Gradually the find out how this ties back to the murder case they are investigating.
This novel made me feel extremely uncomfortable at times. How many of us can really say that we do enough for others and are not part of the problem?
The characters in the novel were excellent. I loved the steady logical Zigic and the wild Ferreira as well as Paulo – an enslaved Portuguese migrant and Emilia – a young Estonian woman forced to work as a prostitute. Phil and Gemma Barlow were revolting and I had no sympathy for the situation they found themselves in. Then there were the real villains.
The writing was excellent, but the novel did get a bit bogged down in some sections. The beginning and ending were both very good.
The next two novels in the series are already available – ‘Tell No Tales’ and ‘After You Die’ and I look forward to reading them. This was an amazing debut novel.
Book Published 2014