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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Once again I found myself diving into a "second in series" book by an author I was already extremely fond of. The first book in the "Carrigan and Miller" series, A Dark Redemption, was excellent and I was not far into this one before I realised that, if anything, it was even better. This time we find our protagonists investigating arson at a convent in which eleven nuns die...except there were only ten nuns in residence. With Eleven days to go until Christmas, the powers that be are keen for a resolution to this case... So begins a mystery that is deeper than it first appears and takes us on a journey across time and continents until the final,very jaw dropping (in the best way possible - I didnt see it coming and there was I thinking I was clever...) solution. Once again Mr Sherez creates characters you can believe in. Both Carrigan and Miller grow in stature and the supporting cast are all important to the story and well drawn. The background, of evil acts in South America, The Shining Path and all the political shenanigans is brilliant - extremely realistic, I imagine that a fair bit of research was involved in making it authentic. Its also a terrific social comment on what may be happening in our own back yard that we all turn a blind eye to - some of the story was very emotive and isnt it great when a book can make you feel something as well as entertain you? I have to say I was pleased to be reading this on the Kindle - I'm fairly sure I would be covered in paper cuts by now otherwise in my eagerness to turn pages...so all in all a great sequel, a great book and if you havent met up with Carrigan and Millar before, head back towards a Dark Redemption and I'm fairly sure it will then be less than Eleven Days before you are reading Eleven Days. Wonderful.
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on 27 May 2013
ELEVEN DAYS is the fourth novel by Stav Sherez and continues the Carrigan and Miller detective partnership which the author set up so effectively in A DARK REDEMPTION. The Prologue, written in the distinctive voice of a female character, is particularly enjoyable to read (and partly because of the deliberately long sentences). Then we move to a poignant scene with Carrigan and his sick mother, and are reminded that he is still grieving for his dead wife, Louise. For me, these two personal situations, whilst not related to the crime, provide context and depth to the detective's behaviour: the personal and professional interlink in us all. The mystery at the start of the novel involves a suspicious fire at a West London convent and the death of eleven nuns. The beginning chapters involve DI Jack Carrigan going off in one direction and DS Geneva Miller in another. Sections are devoted to their thoughts and investigative activities, and these result in them having different theories about who might have caused the fire and why. The developing professional relationship, trust and friendship between the two main characters are all conveyed with restraint and sensitivity, which I liked. Having read previous novels by this author, I have noticed that he has a remarkable gift for language and is able to express the subtleties of mood, feeling, atmosphere, thought and behaviour in remarkable ways and with imagery which is fresh and unique. For me, this slows down my brain and makes me savour and ponder what I am reading, which I appreciate. In terms of the crime itself, financial, religious, and personal explanations are investigated by Carrigan and Miller. When you read this novel you realise that you are in the hands of an author who is widely read, and very well informed on religion and theology. In addition, descriptions of 'place' are stunningly expressed … but I expected no less from a man whose tweets about the weather, music and coffee are often pure poetry. I am fascinated to know what challenges face Carrigan and Miller in subsequent Stav Sherez novels. If you want a thought provoking read, which is beautifully written, I highly recommend ELEVEN DAYS.
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on 30 April 2013
This is the first book I have read by this author and I will read more and recommend it to others. This was a good story which kept a readers interest with clever twists. A substantial amount of research has gone into making the plot believable and the result is a worthwhile read. The story is written with a good pace to it and I liked it a lot.
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on 12 September 2014
I really enjoyed this, and I am not normally a reader of crime novels. It was very much a punt, just for something different.

The author writes in a style that was brisk, making it possible for me to steam through the pages much faster than I often read. Importantly it kept me interested throughout.

What surprised me is sometimes how the book caught me off guard. The characters I didn't find overly interesting or multi-layered, but then one was in peril and all of a sudden I found myself racing through the text with concern. A couple of twists made me really feel for characters. So I was clearly more involved than I had given the book credit for.

For me the outcome was quite predictable... although was still a surprise. Let me explain the contradiction. I had guessed right, at least to a large part of the story, early on. But in like a magician the author had a good art of distraction, distracting me to the point where I had concluded I was wrong or just plain forgot my theory. The outcome thus did seem a bit a bit obvious to me when it came, but I never felt cheated. You can lie to and work against a reader, or you can take them along for a fun ride and trick them as a good magician does. The author definitely did the latter.

There were a few story issues for me. "Eleven Days" the title I felt was going to have much more relevance than it did, and it set expectations. The nuns staying where they were to me makes no sense even after reading the book. If the nuns had shown signs of struggle and panic I think the story would still have been just as good but it would have been more realistic. And towards the end of the book it became exposition heavy.
A couple of minor grumbles too. The overused way of ending each chapter on a cliffhanger. The Coke product placement. And I wasn't certain whether the constant London name dropping felt authentic and added to the narrative or was just showy. But they are minor grumbles.
I will definitely go back and read the first novel now. It wasn't clear from the cover that it was a sequel... but I'm glad I didn't know otherwise I'd have probably not gone for the spontaneous purchase. As I have, I now want to read more.

I'm just left with one mystery: why is Richard Nixon credited for copyright on the cover?
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on 3 April 2014
In contrast to A Dark Redemption I enjoyed this one very much though once again Mr Sherez takes you on a roller coaster ride of red herrings. Nothing is as it seems and just when Carrigan and Miller think they have nailed it, another twist comes in to play which takes them on another lead altogether.

There is no complacency here with these two detectives as they investigate the gruesome murder of 10 nuns locked in a room sitting down to dinner during a horrendous fire which sweeps through their convent. Things get complicated however when an 11th body is found but who is she and why was she there that particular night.

The relationship between Carrigan and Miller develops further where they learn each others strengths and weaknesses. They have the makings at last of a workable team where each knows what the other is thinking and can act without second guessing the other.

The ending came as a complete surprise, I didn't see it coming at all so hats off to Mr Sherez for his clever plotting where he neatly ties it all up with a fabulous ending.

I look forward to the next installment of the Carrigan and Miller series where I hope things will progress even further along the romantic trail perhaps?

Thank you Stav for a great read.
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on 30 July 2013
My first Carrigan & Miller, and I've enjoyed meeting them.

Police procedural double-act, with credible, sympathetic, flawed characters following various leads towards suitably shocking if slightly less credible conclusion.

Sherez is ambitious: we have Eastern European drug barons, Peruvian politics of the 1970s, and the Catholic church at its most devious (though, thankfully, we are spared the by now traditional conspiracy theory). He is also, in places, a memorably good phrase-maker (though he is pleased enough with one or two of his best that he can't resist using them again).

Carrigan leads the case down some not entirely blind alleys, and everything does connect, though not always in the way he (or we) first thought. His mistakes - and his acknowledgement of them - help to flesh out his character and the murky world of morally grey indistinction in which he works.

Relationships between the characters, too, are handled with subtlety and maturity. Many times the reader is relieved that the author manages at the last moment to avoid the apparently imminent cliche.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 September 2014
The book is Stav Sherez' second book of his Carrigan and Miller crime series (following on from A Dark Redemption: Carrigan and Miller 1 (Carrigan & Miller)) and his fourth book overall (after the previous The Devil's Playground and The Black Monastery - both set in different environments). The detective pair are still at times uneasy as a team but are slowly growing more attuned to each other and are tasked with clearing up a fire in a London convent here.

The modern political interventions from up high are just as prominent as in the previous volume and there is time pressure to have the mystery solved by Christmas, even to the detriment of doing things completely right - as anything else would be perceived as a disaster in the media. The case definitely develops from an open and shut accident to something much more multi-layered and the author does a good job of keeping readers guessing which of the many avenues will lead to the true culprit.

There is enough here to interest a wide variety of crime lovers and the characters (especially the ones that will continue to be encountered in the future instalments) are plausibly developed in line with the story. More background is revealed on both protagonists and the author left enough loose ends for a continuation to make sense. As such, I can only recommend the book to all who enjoyed previous work by the author and hope there is a next one around the corner.
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The breadth of this novel is amazing as it roams from Peruvian politics of the 70s to Albanian gangs of the present via lack of cooperation from the Catholic church without confusion but with logic. The story opens when 10 nuns and an unknown female are burnt to death in a fire. Cardigan and Miller, a very realistic duo, follow all and any leads they can until they reach a conclusion in a very clever twist I didn't see coming. Obviously not everything they investigate has a bearing on the fire and it's perpetrator but it makes the book engrossing as you try to work out what is relevant and what isn't. I bet you can't because of the clever plotting and the power of Mr Sherez's writing - he makes it all plausible. This book is well worth reading. I read it in one sitting.
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on 12 September 2013
I'll try not to repeat what others have said but no doubt I will ! This is a very clever book which takes in police work , church affairs , state murder , terrorism and hypocrisy.
Its very well written and is a real page turner .
I recommend it to all those who love a well written mystery and with all too human characters .
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on 17 July 2013
It's quite sensitively written for this type of book, Sherez really delves deep into his main characters, their strengths and weaknesses.
The plot has many twists and turns and I didn't realise right until the reveal who the killer was, which impressed me as I usually manage to guess whodunnit! I shall be reading some more the series soon.
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