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on 26 March 2012
So, I started reading a novel that sounded like a regular police procedural about a murdered student in London and ended up reading about Northern Ugandan politics and warfare, Joseph Kony and child soldiers too.
A Dark Redemption is an excellent, thoroughly well written, crime thriller. The main cop protagonists, DI Carrigan and DS Miller, are very well rounded and complex characters whose back-stories are fed to us sparingly, droplet by droplet. This, together with a fast paced complex plot, made A Dark Redemption a novel which I found very hard to put down.
It is also a novel about how decisions in the past can return to haunt us in the present. I very much enjoyed reading this novel.
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on 26 July 2012
Stav Sherez has produced a crime fiction marvel; a most incredible way with words.

Where other crime writers may stop at the typical boundaries, Sherez pushes them. Venturing into the currently relevant Ugandan politics, Sherez introduces an evil protagonist, leaving his victims mauled and bloodied in a distinctive signature mark. Can Jack Carrigan shake off his own personal connections to the situation and focus on tracking the killer before more end up dead? With the Foreign Office breathing down his neck and DS Miller watching him closely, will they be able to solve the true motive for the murder or will he get thrown from the case?

It is a fantastic, swiftly paced story written in a refreshingly descriptive manner which enlightens every sense and creates a deeper level of understanding of the characters, painting a picture from their own mental pains and frustrations to their own character afflictions.

Definitely worth a read and I will definitely be delving into other books from his collection.
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on 31 May 2012
I hadn't tried this author before and selected purely on the 'if you like that you'll like this' amazon sales thingy - a system that fails me more often than not. However, with 'A Dark Redemption' I hit the jackpot. A good 'flawed' detective BUT even better, a flawed female sidekick who was three dimensional -Hooray. A story set in London - albeit a London many people are blind too - which was gritty and sad and I felt very realistic. The best bit for me though was the story... Brilliant. Dark and scary and informative at the same time; with a twist at the end that I didn't see coming at all. Will now read other books by Stav Sherez as the dude can certainly tell a good tale.
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on 6 June 2012
So glad I took up this daily deal. Excellent,gritty, well-written and well thought out police procedural/thriller. Some back story of DI Carrigan and DS Miller very carefully fed in over the course of the book .Look forward to reading more. Definitely worth the time reading.
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on 21 October 2012
I bought this ebook when it was only 99p. At that price it was phenomenally good value. It took me a few months to get round to reading it and now I come to write this review I see that it has shot up in price to £6.39. My eyes are watering at that - it was very good, but not THAT good.

It is well written, you can tell that this is a professional writer at work (previously a journalist). It's well researched and sets the historical scene as well as it does the modern. The author is particularly good at painting his scenes for the reader, whether that be London or Africa. It taught me a lot about Ugandan history that I had not known previously and he really made the fear come alive in my head.

We are drip fed the history of the two main protagonists, who are well rounded and likeable. They're believable, we are given their foibles as well as their strengths. They work well together and complement each other in the way that real life good teams do.

It builds to a satisfying end, with a good twist. This has all the makings of the beginnings of a good series. Only if it is sensibly priced though...
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I do love it when I discover a book that gets me "in at the start" of something great so I must thank author Chris Ewan for recommending this to me. Its a dark tale to be sure, but its far from standard Crime fiction. The character of Jack Carrigan is very well drawn, with just enough mystery about him to keep you enthralled without resorting to cliche. Miller is an excellent "opposite" and these two, as much as the mystery itself, are what makes this book compelling. I don't really want to say much about the plot - its terrific but it is one of those times that the less you know in advance, the greater enjoyment you will get out of the novel. If you love Crime fiction, but don't want to feel that you've read it all before, this is the book for you. I look forward greatly to the next in this series and in the meantime I will be reading everything else this author has written.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2014
This - the third novel from Stav Sherez (following on from The Devil's Playground and The Black Monastery) - is the start of his Carrigan / Miller pairing of an unlikely detective team, both with deep personal issues but a good knack for solving the case in hand, in spite of not quite fitting into the 'new politically astute' times of policing.

The book delves into a deep underground of African immigrants, often coming from war ravaged lands, with dark personal histories, trying to make a living in London. Starting with a brutal murder of an Ugandan student, the pair are sent on a roller-coaster journey across London on the one hand, with their personal lives also being drawn out in the process (Carrigan's past especially is slowly being teased apart concurrently with the main story).

While the book definitely has a fair share of murders and crimes and a consequently action filled twist, the author still manages to include a fair element of character development, as well as some overarching issues into the book. No characters are completely flat and one dimensional - even the slimy bosses get to shine positively every now and again (or at least it is easier to understand some of their own pressures at times). This makes the book a much more satisfying read, than a one dimensional good versus evil caricaturization ever could.

The slight flaws displayed by the protagonists, too, make you yearn for learning more of them in the future instalments (luckily, there is a next one - Eleven Days: Carrigan and Miller 2 - out there already).

So all in all a very accomplished, multifaceted crime story, with enough action, politics and other intriguing elements to keep you engaged at several levels. If you like your crime as more than a procession of a murder a page atrocities, you will hardly go wrong here.
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on 25 February 2014
This excellent crime novel set amongst a gritty London backdrop introduces the recently formed detective duo of Jack Carrigan and Geneva Miller. Detective Sergeant Miller has been assigned to partner Carrigan by their grumpy suspicious boss to essentially spy on the unpredictable Carrigan, her police superior.

After a prologue details Carrigan's ill fated college holiday to Uganda as an adventurous youth, keen not to join the college hordes headed for the predictable India and Ibiza, the novel returns to London where it mostly stays for the duration after Carrigan is tasked with finding the murder of a young college student, Ugandan Grace Okello, the victim of what looks like a gruesome ritualistic slaying. But as the investigation progresses Carrigan believes the victim may have stumbled on a political secret one of the London based former Ugandan warlords or their supporters might kill to keep.

Sherez is a true wordsmith whose energetic, urgent prose crackles and fizzes right off the page. And the plot is packed full of twists and turns and the finale I didn't see coming at all. As a native Londoner Sherez walks around that great city with his eyes wide open : his English and immigrant characters form the fabric of the city and his novel. I loved both Carrigan and Miller, but Sherez's female detective, Miller, is particularly insightfully written, which not many male writers accomplish, and the tension between her and Carrigan twists and turns throughout and we are left in no doubt theirs will prove a complicated, but entertaining two-some for their next investigation.
(As an addendum, I saw that some readers were wondering why the Ugandans have such great command of English...Uganda is a former British colony and English is their official language, even 60+ years after independence!)
(I listened to this via Audible which was v good. But for some reason doesn't come up as a purchase option on this page. If you have an audible account it's still on there, I just checked.)
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on 4 December 2012
I bought this via my daily deal and having read some interesting and positive reviews thought it was likely to be a decent book. I certainly wasn't disappointed. I've never read anything by Stav Sherez before but will be looking out for more.
Previous reviewers have covered just about everything without giving anything away but it is very much out of the ordinary with the intermingling of Countries, the flash backs, the drip feeding of the main characters and the amount of clever twists in the plot.
A very much enjoyed read and I'd certainly recommend it to any crime/thriller addict.
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on 5 April 2015
A Dark Redemption is a police procedural with a strong political inflection concerning rebel child armies in Northern Uganda. The strength of the story is its nice prose and cadence, the contextualisation and the handling of the subject matter, and a nice sense of place with respect to the seedier parts of London. Carrigan and Miller are both troubled cops who are struggling in their personal lives and at work. In A Dark Redemption, Sherez focuses in particular on the back story of Carrigan and his approach to the death of a Ugandan student, though Miller has more substance than a one-dimensional side kick. Similarly other characters are nicely penned, such as a London-based political activist. The plot was interesting and compelling, though some elements didn’t quite ring true, and there is a reliance of plot devices at times. There is though a nice twist towards the end that I didn’t see coming. Overall, an engaging police procedural that tackles a weighty political issue head on.
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