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The Europa Challenge Blog: "A great page-turner."

Date: Nov 4 2014

Marie C. reviews ELEVEN DAYS by Stav Sherez

Eleven Days, by Stav Sherez. Published 2014 by Europa Editions. Crime Fiction/Mystery.

When it comes to series, I rarely read past volume one. It's not that I'm anti-series; I just usually don't get hooked enough to continue, and in the case of crime fiction, I'd rather sample lots of series than delve too deeply into one. It's a way for me to get to know a little about a lot of authors and stories, so that I can recommend books appropriately to my customers and friends.

Eleven Days is book two of British writer Stav Sherez's Carrigan/Miller series, so you can tell right away I'm a fan. The first book in the series, A Dark Redemption, was a favorite of mine in 2013, one of the best books I read that year of any genre and Eleven Days is a worthy successor. After finishing the second installment, I'm confident this series has a bright, dark future.

Set again in London and featuring his detectives Jack Carrigan and Geneva Miller, we start out with ten dead nuns and one other dead person in a London convent. Police find their charred bodies after fire tears through the building and little by little clues emerge. The nuns have connections to bad guys in South America and Eastern Europe- lots of people who'd like to see them dead, for different reasons. Several of the bodies bear the marks of torture. Financial records point towards work in South America and ties to the leftist liberation theology movement. The nuns also had run-ins with Albanian drug lords and sex traffickers next door. And the church itself is not being particularly cooperative with our investigators. We also see more developments in Carrigan and Miller's ongoing rapport and hints that there are serious problems in Miller's personal life as well as Carrigan's. We see them pursuing different tracks of the investigation and coming to conflict with each other over theories and execution, so to speak.

Just like A Dark Redemption, Eleven Days is a great page-turner. It's grisly and gory and delves into not one but two troubling aspects of modern geopolitics, as well as the more prosaic, and tragic, story of a girl who thought she could make a difference in the world. There's enough here for three books, and Sherez weaves it all together into a cohesive and absorbing tale. I like that we got some hints about Miller's troubles, and I hope to read more about that lousy ex of hers in a future installment. I'm also glad that there doesn't seem to be any romance in the offing for Carrigan and Miller, at least in the short term. Romance plots are a distraction from the far more interesting questions of how to simply get along with other troubled human beings.

Anyway as you can tell I enjoyed Eleven Days quite a bit. I'm definitely hooked as far as following the rest of the books, however many Sherez has planned. I'm still kicking myself a little for waiting for the US release and not buying it when I was in London last year. Oh well. My next trip to London will be in September 2015 and if he's got a new one out by then I won't be waiting!

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