Cover Image: One Half Truth

One Half Truth

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Member Reviews

Eva Dolan returns with the latest in her DI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira series set in Peterborough, with her trademark thoughtful political and social commentary on contemporary Britain. It all begins with the discovery by the roadside of 21 year old Jordan Radley, shot in the back and in the head in true execution style, initially suggesting this might be a drug related incident. However, Jordan turns out to be an ambitious and dedicated journalism student focusing on issues that matter, with a big published feature behind him focusing on the closure of Greenaway Engineering 4 years previously and its impact on the men made redundant in an area that had no use for their skills and experience. His interviews documented the poverty, family breakdowns, suicide attempts, and other mental health issues that proliferated in the aftermath, the fury, shock, and resentment, having to work as supermarket shelf stackers, and other precarious gig economy jobs, losing homes, facing homelessness and struggling to feed themselves.

As the police find out, shortly after his killing, the murderer broke into Jordan's home and took his laptop and other electronic devices. It soon becomes apparent that Jordan had been working on another big story, but unfortunately had informed no-one about what he was working on. Zigic and Ferreira, along with the police team that includes DC Zac Parr, DC Keri Bloom and DC Rob Weller, follow a number of potential leads, all of them, with the exception of a Far right group, emanating from Greenaway Engineering, looking once again at a fatal helicopter crash that had been deemed an accident and into the present with Docherty Construction who acquired the former industrial site to build homes on it. They find themselves facing difficulties when faced with NDA's and people being unable to talk to the police, over critical life and death issues, and peering beneath the surface of the respectability, power and wealth of the Greenaway family.

Dolan is a remarkable crime writer, managing to depict declining towns, communities and services reeling from austerity, the police are hardly immune from severe budget and staff cuts with even some police officers having to survive on food banks, people divided by Brexit, the toxic normalisation and acceptance of the far right, its values and ideas, the proliferation of zero hours and gig economy jobs that fail to provide the means to survive. Then there is the growth in outsourcing, driven by profiteering and the need to cut costs to the bare bones, to the rise in mental health issues and where the loss of a job can all too easily lead to homelessness. All of this is encapsulated in a riveting, dark, detailed and suspenseful narrative with a wide range of characters, a police team trying to do its best to deliver justice in the form of Zigic and Ferreira, who face obstacles from every direction, including the top echelons of the police service. A brilliant addition to a wonderful crime series. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.
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I really enjoyed this police procedural set in Peterborough. Zigic and Ferreira are the detectives looking for a killer when young student Jordan is shot dead walking home from watching football at a club. The club is for men who worked at Greenaway’s factory, used to be their work clubhouse but the factory is long gone and so are the jobs. Skilled engineers consigned to the scrap heap in their fifties - an age where getting new employment is very difficult. The club lingers on as a reminder and is still frequented by a group of men bonded together due to their shared experience, with a lot of bitterness and anger remaining. So what was a young man like Jordan doing there and how had he ended up shot in the back of the head, execution style, close to the Parkway on his shortcut home. 

The story line grabbed straight away, possibly because my family are working class enough to have experienced what these men have gone through, particularly in mining and steel manufacturing. I’ve seen what it does to a man to leave him unemployed near retirement age. Jordan really stood out as one of the good guys in life, willing to stand up to big business and expose corruption. Of course we only experience him through his deeds and other people’s impressions of him, but that’s enough for me to feel he was ambitious to be a journalist but also had integrity. He wanted to do the job to write the big stories, not doorstep celebrities or cover local fun days for the local paper. He’d already been published in the Big Issue, the piece that told the stories of the men at the club and the reason he knew them. He’d shown how their mental health suffered after redundancy, that many had lost their wives and families too, some had lost the roof over their heads. Then he’d stayed in contact with the men. So Zigic makes the club his place to start investigating. 

There are three stories that Jordan was working on that had potential to ruffle important feathers. One is about a social care company attached to a woman called Sheila Yule but she is very wary of even speaking to the police and appears scared. Then there’s the death of the owner of Greenaway’s, in a helicopter crash. It had been ruled an accident but could Jordan have found out otherwise? Finally, he was looking into a housing development on the outskirts of the city, where Ferreira had almost bought a flat. Any one of these stories would have made a great book, so to give us all three was generous. There were so many leads to follow that the pace never let up and the story never flagged. All the stories were right up my street politically so I really enjoyed reading the detail and the thinking Jordan would have gone through when researching. All the undercurrents of deprivation, corruption, the collusion of big business and local politics couldn’t have been more timely and they fit perfectly with how I see the world. 

There were some great bits of character revealed in Ferreira and Zigic’s home lives. Ferreira not wanting her partner to have his hunch on the case confirmed, then bantering about paint colours and wallpaper. The comical scene of Zigic and his wife clearing out his wardrobe was eerily familiar and very funny. These are the lives they go back to after working long hours and it was enjoyable to see those glimpses of their home selves. Both have a conviction to see justice done and hate being told what they can and can’t investigate from higher up - high ranking police officers being too cosy with local councillors and big business in the area. Ferreira is slightly more reckless and I love how she takes things into her own hands at the end. I like her fire and her need to get to the truth - whoever is involved. There are twists I didn’t expect, but I was glad of them because they changed an outcome I was struggling to accept. This was solid, intelligent, crime writing with a lot of heart and I enjoyed it immensely.
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Eva Dolan's Zigic and Ferreira series is always well written, intriguing and satisfying.  The two principals are well-rounded and interesting characters and the plot is always engrossing.  However, I feel that something has been lost now that the detectives are no longer solely investigating hate crimes, a premise that gave the series its unique USP.  Nevertheless the murder of a student and aspiring journalist makes for a fascinating if somewhat overlong case.
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Cover-ups, secrets and lots of lies - a great police procedural - this is the first book in the series i have read but i will catch up with the rest based on this book
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I really enjoy reading the Zigic and Ferreira series of books and the two central characters are Detectives who stay in the mind long after the final page is turned. Whilst the focus of their investigations may no longer be hate crimes, their old unit having been disbanded as many specialist teams in the Police have been over the years, these are still stories full of heart, with a real socio-economic focus and a strong sense of justice which emanates from the lead characters.

This time around our Detective duo are investigating the murder of a young journalism student. There is no logic to the attack, the murder being committed with a replica gun and the perpetrator leaving all of his possessions at the scene. Or at least most of them. The Detectives are quickly able to identify the victim but motive is the one thing that eludes them, at least at first. The more they dig into his past, the more potential motives present themselves and the twistier the story seems to become.

At the centre of the story we are faced with a cast of characters who have all been a victim of circumstance over the years. Focusing on the decline of industry within Peterborough and the very polar fates of the top brass compared to the guys from the workshop floor, it brings us front and centre to a story that is sadly all too believable and all to readily present in modern life. We've never been far from one or another headline of businesses closing or relocating which adds a kind of authenticity to the story we are reading. There is plenty of mystery and plenty of misdirection, some of the suspects with seemingly far more to lose than others, but whether any of this is the reason for Jordan's death remains to be seen.

I really liked the way in which Eva Dolan has explored the differing attitudes of Zigic and Ferreira this time around. Zigic seems almost resigned to  what is happening whilst we get a growing anger in Ferreira over almost everything, from Brexit, to the right to stay documentation she and her family have been forced to complete, even the lack of progress in decorating her her home. Zigic remains a calming influence, but you do get the impression of Ferreira being constantly on edge and there may be no limits as to how far she is willing to go to see justice done, sometimes blind to the truth by her determination to nail the person or people she feels is responsible. 

This is another fab book and a great addition to the series. Whilst it is not a fast paced read, it did hold my focus, made me question everything as I read and I almost felt myself channelling Ferreira's anger at times due to the way in which those with money and power seemed to constantly try to dictate the course of the investigation. That determination of Ferreira, to never forget the ultimate victim in all of this investigation, really did make this story for me and the ending, whilst not procedurally sound, really did make me smile. A fitting way to end it, although I'm sure the repercussions may be long felt.
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I never repeat the blurb. Another excellent outing and case to solve for Zigic and Ferreira. Love these characters and it's a welcome return - seemed too long. A complex case which starts with seemingly zero information but build and builds and keeps you guessing to the end. great stuff.
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Based locally so I love the authentic speech and references to places I know, and this is a solid Police procedural with a gritty plot that is uncovered piece by piece.  A good read and I agree that Susie Steiner fans would enjoy it although I miss having more background to the Police detectives to round them out.
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It’s always a pleasure to read a Zigic and Ferreira police procedural and I enjoyed this, the sixth in the series. 

As always the local descriptions were accurate and the plot was original and topical. 

Somehow it didn’t seem to flow as easily as earlier books in the series but I really enjoyed it.
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I was keen to read this after enjoying This Is How It Ends, but it doesn't have the freshness that book did. It feels quite formulaic, in both the story and the voice. DNF.
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Secrets,lies and cover-ups in this police procedural.Dogged detective work soon starts to unravel the mystery. A solid read.
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Another gritty thriller from Eva Dolan with her usual investigative team of Zigic and Ferreria. A young journalist student is shot dead walking home one night, and there are no clues why. The police are left baffled, trying to look at the different angles of his life and it becomes clear early on that the man is an old-style journalist trying to uncover wrongdoings and misuse of power. The book doesnt pull any punches, detailing how people are struggling for jobs, money and any sense of security. I loved reading it and would definitely recommend, especially for fans of Susie Steiner who covers similar themes in an equally compelling way.
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I always enjoy Eva Dolans work and this was no exception. Lots of twists and turns to enjoy along the way and I hige thumbs up and recommend from me!
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A great crime novel which although a slightly slow start soon became a page turner. The murder of a young aspiring journalist leads to investigation into stories he was investigating . Sadly I believe that the attitude of very senior police more concerned with budget constraints rather than fighting for justice of the public seems to ring true.
I would recommend both this book and the author for lovers of crime fiction
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Fantastic read. I have been completely unable to put this one down. I cannot wait to read more by this author. 
Full review to follow on publication.
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One Half Truth was a decent police procedural, but nothing that great.  It’s well written but I didn’t find the characters all that convincing or engaging, it is needlessly slow in places and has a couple of very well-worn tropes.

A young man is shot dead by a roadside in Peterborough, where this is not common by any means.  The investigation leads to stories of corporate greed and malfeasance as it focuses around a group of men who have lost their jobs and most of their sense of self-worth through rapacious asset-stripping which makes those responsible very rich.  The trail is obscure, has blind alleys and can be confusing and frustrating, much like a real investigation.  However it is possible to convey those things without making the story itself slow, confusing and frustrating, which I found this to be some of the time.

The book has its merits, its heart is certainly in the right place and it’s by no means bad, but as a gripping crime story it lacked something for me.  People whose opinions I respect have praised Eva Dolan’s books, but on this evidence I won’t be rushing to read any more, I’m afraid.

(My thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC via NetGalley.)
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   I really enjoyed this fast paced thriller,   great characters and a great storyline,   had me hooked until the very end
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A quick and easy read that I found myself picking up after a long day to unwind. The characters are beautifully written and I came to love them within the first few pages and was rooting for them all the way to the end. At times I wanted to stop reading because I just wanted the experience to go on for longer. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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If I'm a little disappointed with this book it's only because Dolan set the bar so high with her earlier entries in this series. This still has a politicised edge - this time about the 'left behind' when an engineering factory closes, and dirty deals amongst the privileged. 

I'm glad this doesn't just repeat earlier storylines but it is slower to get going, can feel just the teensiest bit plodding. I also felt that the characters don't feel particularly defined in this outing - given where we've been with Zigic and, especially, Mel Ferreira, this didn't really feel like it's taking account of their history and the personal storylines more or less stall. It's still a decent procedural and the writing is, as always, smooth and unobtrusive - but it doesn't quite have that special something that made Dolan a must-read for me.
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