Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan

Review published on March 2, 2017.

This is the fourth book in the series featuring DCI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira of the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit and it has an unusual subject.

A jogger is attacked and killed in Ferry Meadows. She appears to be a woman but is actually a male who is currently transitioning, which leads to an exploration of the cross-dressing and transgender world that is to our age what homosexuality was before it was made legal, since everyone involved lies to protect themselves and their families.

This makes it very tricky for the detectives to sort out. Other men have been attacked for passing as women, but they have not reported it to the police or admitted it to A&E doctors.

The murdered jogger is Corinne/Colin and her whole family have reason to hide their true feelings. Nina, Corinne’s former wife, and her new partner Bryn as well as their three children are caught in a web of anger, lies and misunderstanding, which takes quite a bit of unravelling. The issue of men and women and their sexuality is handed sensitively by the police, but not everyone has sympathy for the victims.

I found the book very interesting, but at times it gets bogged down in police interviews and procedures. Zigic and Ferreira are believable as cops with fractured home lives and a desire to get to the truth.

The emergence of Eddie Izzard and Grayson Perry in recent years has made the public more accepting of cross-dressing, but in general I feel we have a way to go in understanding the individual needs of those who are different. This book could hopefully help to raise awareness.

Open-minded reading groups would find lots to discuss.

Dorothy Anderson 4/4

Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan
Harvill Secker 9781910701027 pbk Jan 2017

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Trojan by Alan McDermott

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The Intrusions by Stav Sherez

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