Review Blog

Apr 09 2020

Between two evils by Eva Dolan

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Zigic & Ferreira. Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781408886441.
(Age: Senior secondary, Adult) Highly recommended. Between two evils is the parallel stories of abuse. One takes place within the locked precincts of a female immigration detention centre, the other evolves from the overturning of a case of rape due to DNA evidence being brought into question. DS Ferreire and DI Zigic are tested ethically and morally as this team from Peterborough sort through a maze of secretive bureaucracy and downright manipulation to get at the truth and a conviction.
The murder of Dr. Joshua Ainsworth in his home just outside the detention centre where he works in the medical clinic is brutal, and it seems connected with his job. Ainsworth is an enigma. Some speak highly of him, as a caring, ethical doctor working in a difficult situation. Others, like the demonstrators outside the centre, see him as part of an evil and repressive government regime. The privately run Long Fleet detention centre was not exactly forthcoming with information, putting a wall of data protection and privacy legislation as excuses.
The other blow to the investigative team came when news broke that Lee Walton a serial rapist and murderer had been released due to problems with the examination of DNA evidence. It had been a long and difficult case which now seemed all for nothing. But Walton then begins to threaten Ferreire to reestablish his contacts with his wife and son who had been moved away for their own protection.
It seems the only way to put Walton away is to reopen an old case. A case which on the surface was watertight being finalised with a confession. A confession that was given after a series of interrogations by their current superior. A clandestine investigation carried out without knowledge of most of the team and always with the threat of it blowing up in their faces.
With the background of racism, bigotry and politics this is a story of the present not just applicable to the United Kingdom and Australia, but universally where conservatism and misplaced nationalism are on the rise.
This is the first of Dolan's Ferreira and Zigic novels I have read. There four others in the series; Long way home, Tell no tales, After you die and Watch her disappear. It may be helpful to have read others in giving a background to the protagonists, which coming in cold did assume prior knowledge. However Dolan's writing hauls you into the narrative and the 468 pages seem to fly by. Themes: Crime fiction, Detention centres, Rape, DNA.
Mark Knight

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