Ones to Watch in 2017: Watch Her Disappear. Eva Dolan.


Publication Date: January 2017 from Harvill Secker

Source: Review Copy


The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.

With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.

Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…

Well. I say this is one to watch in 2017 but actually Eva Dolan has been one to watch for a few years now – this the 4th novel in the Zigic and Ferreira series, a series that just increases in both quality and storytelling power with each new instalment.

Watch Her Disappear yet again takes a difficult subject and tackles it with sensitivity and grace but more to the point with true authenticity. Eva Dolan walks where others fear to tread – using her characters to speak truth, layering her plots with all the nuances, taking you on a journey and making you pay attention, feel it, see the black the white and the grey areas in all things human nature.

Here we find our indomitable pair called to the scene of a murder – Colin, now Corrinne, was she the victim of a hate crime or in fiction as in life, are things not so clear cut. With a possible serial rapist  muddying the waters, a political climate that causes intrusive scrutiny  and a family fractured at its very core, the truth will not come out easily.

There is a beautiful and compelling undertone to the writing that plays with the readers emotions in a subtle yet incredibly effective manner. Very cleverly there is no pretence that the victim of this horrific crime was an angel, a good person through and through. Like all of us Corrinne is contrary, not always likeable, in fact for me mostly not at all and yet still strangely sympathetic. Her family, all dealing with the fallout of many things not just the huge changes Corrinne has been through also veer between inducing sympathy and behaving atrociously. It is this, that realistic, thought provoking, unrelenting look at the realities that make these novels stand out from the crowd, bring you into the bigger picture – this is crime fiction that takes a huge bite out of your preconceptions.

It not only gives you all that sense of feeling Watch her Disappear, as with the previous novels, is also highly entertaining. Of course it is. This is fiction. We read it to take ourselves out of whatever situation we are in for a bit and focus on something else.The mystery element as ever is incredibly engaging, the background lives of the series characters ever compelling, once again we see a wider community and how they deal with things and the whole thing is just utterly utterly riveting. Eva Dolan just shows us, in genius fashion, that you can educate, provoke debate, talk about the difficult subjects yet engage, captivate and inspire all at the same time. Is that not what storytelling should do? I don’t know. But I love it when it does do that.

I’m a huge fan. A huge huge fan.

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!


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