Review published on March 2, 2017.
Stav Sherez has brought back detectives DI Carrigan and DS Miller in The Intrusions and what we get is a slick, modern thriller that always has an unexpected twist at the end. I am always impressed with Sherez’s thrillers in that they are modern in setting and challenging to our current knowledge, while the belief in justice shines through. We see two backpackers who are staying in one of Bayswater’s hostels drinking in a local club, both share a drink, but they both have different outcomes. Both are tripping and really do not know what is happening to them or where they are; one makes it back to the hostel, the other disappears without a trace. Madison, who does manage to get back to the hostel, reports that her friend Anna has been taken, but she seems to be high and causing chaos in the police station reception when she falls over and lands on top of DS Miller. DI Carrigan has his own problems; Superintendent Branch claims that he has a whole host of problems of his own making in fact. He points out that it doesn’t matter how successful Carrigan is at solving cases, his last investigation had over stepped the mark and ACC Quinn wants his job and pension, and if possible a prison sentence for Carrigan. When back in his office and Miller is telling him about Madison and his lost friend, he allows her to investigate just so he can have a quiet life. However, he is convinced that Anna is just another drugged up backpacker who will turn up once they have sobered up. While Miller is off on that wild goose chase a murder case lands in Carrigan’s lap. It’s rather gruesome but he can tell the scene has been staged for the police. When Miller sees the picture she realises that they are investigating the same crime and, as they dig further, they find that other than the hostel, there seems to be no links whatsoever to the murderer and Anna. As they dig into the life of Anna and her use of social media networks, they become aware of a new sort of stalking, ratting, which means a hacker can take control of another person’s computer and, in essence, their life. The more they dig into the case, the deeper they venture into a very dark world of online stalking as well as a mix of drugs that could give a person a trip they may never remember. As the case develops, they realise something that happened on a trip to Bali is the key to the murder and abduction, but will they be able to find it in time? What we get with Stav Sherez’s The Intrusions is a slick thriller that is a reflection of modern life that asks whether we know how to keep our own computers safe from a determined hacker. We see that once again the police procedures are out dated in the modern world, leaving the police always one or two steps behind where technology is concerned. What we get is an exciting, well researched thriller that could be happening right now to someone who is backpacking around the world. It really is the unseen, mostly ignored part of life that is covered in the book and Sherez is shining a very bright light into the darkness. It is a thoroughly modern thriller that will keep you gripped from beginning to end and it is a book I cannot recommend highly enough.
Paul Diggett 5/5
The Intrusions by Stav Sherez
Faber & Faber 9780571297252 pbk Feb 2017