Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

BookBrowse Reviews A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Dark Redemption

by Stav Sherez

A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez X
A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 448 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


The first in a new series by Stav Sherez, A Dark Redemption introduces DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller as they investigate the murder of a Ugandan student. This is only the beginning...

I have done my share of deep and heavy reading this summer, so it was a great pleasure to read a crime fiction novel by an author new to me. Not that A Dark Redemption wasn't deep and sometimes heavy, but it is an ideal read for the end of summer: entertaining, compelling, yet addressing issues that stay with us as we return from the beach or vacation.

Stav Sherez, a British writer with two acclaimed novels already in print, opens the story with a flash to the past. Jack Carrigan, who is suffering from blinding headaches, thinks back to the summer after college graduation when he and his two best friends chose a trip to Uganda for their last fling before beginning jobs and adult life. With the typical innocence of youth in the early 1990s, they wanted to travel somewhere off the beaten track. On their way to Murchison Falls National Park, they hit a roadblock and the trip became a nightmare.

Two decades later Jack is a seasoned London police detective known for solving murders but he is disliked by most of his department. His current case involves the brutal rape and murder of a Ugandan student at a university in London. Working with his newly assigned detective Geneva Miller, who is also in hot water with Superintendent Branch, Jack's investigation revives all the horrific memories of that summer trip.

It took quite a few chapters to get comfortable with Sherez's style. He is strong on description but skimpy on the personal details of his characters. How and why Jack and Geneva became cops is only alluded to; the sparse information is just enough to let the reader know they both came into police work for painful reasons. The particulars of how Jack lost one of his best friends and why the tension between him and his remaining friend Ben increases as Jack works to solve the case, are revealed slowly as the investigation proceeds. However, I came to appreciate that this technique is highly effective in creating, for the reader, an excruciating anxiety for information. Also because this is the first in a series, I realized that he might be carefully parsing out information over several books.

Geneva Miller is a complex character whose intelligence and dogged pursuit along her own line of insights brings a modern feminist slant to the turmoil in Jack's office. Ultimately however it is Grace Okella, the victim, who takes this tale to an additional level of intrigue and terror. What does her carefully guarded research project have to do with her murder? Why is the Ugandan Embassy making Superintendent Branch's job nearly impossible? Grace also had a convoluted and sorrowful past, which entwines with Detective Inspector Jack Carrigan's horrific African experience. If not for Geneva's inspiring detective work, the answers would not be discovered.

Good crime fiction puts the reader smack into the confusion detectives have to endure in order to solve the crime, and this novel does so to an almost unbearable level. Sherez draws on the techniques of the masters. Jack Carrigan's disaffected tendency to go his own way echoes Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Geneva's prickly personality would fit into a Tana French mystery. His political interplay between Great Britain and Uganda follows in the tradition of John le Carre. Still, Sherez has a voice uniquely his own. By the end of the novel, the many mysteries of the characters, as well as some of the complexity behind Uganda's fight for independence as a nation, are revealed in a breathless finish.

A Dark Redemption is the first in a series featuring Detective Jack Carrigan. Good news, because I want to know more about him and look forward to sharing his troubles as he solves the next case. The second in the series, Eleven Days was released in the UK in May, 2013. It took a year for A Dark Redemption to be published in the USA. Hopefully, Americans will not have so long a wait for the next one.

Reviewed by Judy Krueger

This review first ran in the August 21, 2013 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Stav Sherez

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked A Dark Redemption, try these:

  • The Smiling Man jacket

    The Smiling Man

    by Joseph Knox

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More by this author

    From the acclaimed author of Sirens, damaged Detective Aidan Waits returns in a mind-bending new thriller that will have everyone asking "Who is the Smiling Man?"

  • Redemption Road jacket

    Redemption Road

    by John Hart

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More by this author

    Over 2 million copies of his books in print. The first and only author to win back-to-back Edgars for Best Novel. Every book a New York Times bestseller. After five years, John Hart is back.

We have 8 read-alikes for A Dark Redemption, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Sicilian Inheritance
    The Sicilian Inheritance
    by Jo Piazza
    Sara Marsala is going through a rough patch, to say the least. In the process of divorcing from her ...
  • Book Jacket: The Light Eaters
    The Light Eaters
    by Zoë Schlanger
    The human race is completely dependent on plants. Many people, however, give little thought to ...
  • Book Jacket: Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    by J Drew Lanham
    As a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, and a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master ...
  • Book Jacket: Glorious Exploits
    Glorious Exploits
    by Ferdia Lennon
    Lampo and Gelon are two unemployed potters in their thirties whose lives are spent between their ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Long After We Are Gone
by Terah Shelton Harris
After their father's death, four siblings rally to save their family home in this gripping and hopeful tale.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughters of Shandong
    by Eve J. Chung

    Eve J. Chung's debut novel recounts a family's flight to Taiwan during China's Communist revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stolen Child
    by Ann Hood

    An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate.

Win This Book
Win Only the Brave

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel

A powerful, sweeping historical novel about a courageous woman in World War II Germany.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

F T a T

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.