Two books in and the Zigic and Ferreira is a new much anticipated, favourite series.
If you've read the first book, then as soon as you start TELL NO TALES, you're straight back with characters that you really know, in a place that you're comfortable in, even though there is nothing comfortable about events, or the social climate. If you haven't read the first, then it won't matter a bit - there is still plenty here for new readers.
Tackling the question of immigration, immigrant workers, tensions with Nationalist groups, and the explosion in Hate Crimes that has occurred in many communities worldwide can't be an easy undertaking - the issues behind everything are complicated and fraught with political and personal implications. Setting events within the purview of the Hate Crimes division, and then never creating an easy situation for them to deal with gives the reader the opportunity to connect, see, even understand many of those issues through the investigator's eyes. Add to that in TELL NO TALES you have the viewpoint of a survivor (and participant), as well as a look at the politics behind many of the tensions, which gives the difficulties more nuance, more complications, more connections.
The other element that contributes much to these books is the way that no-one here is exactly 100% perfect. Zigic is a well-meaning, frequently absent husband and father, who worries about the effect that this will have on his family. There are such nice glimpses into the things that make you go hmmm - the use of very Slavic names for his very English boys and the potential impact that could have. The way that their quiet domestic community is being pressed in upon as the suburbs extend, potentially bringing the problems of his work-beat closer to home. Both of these main characters are the children of immigrant families, so many of the tensions, the problems of acceptance, fitting in are all too obviously understood. Ferreira is the child of Portuguese parents, trying to step away from family control, branch out a little, living the hard partying life of a young woman who is feeling the pressure of family obligations.
This understanding of the experience of many of the victims, and the perpetrators being perused isn't done in a heavy handed manner however. This is a strong police procedural into which these elements are seamlessly introduced, tucked into the narrative in a way that's informative rather than pointed.
All of which is delivered in a flowing, strong style that effortlessly holds the reader's attention, always promising more in the next chapter. TELL NO TALES is great crime fiction. It's a tale being told, it's a look into a particularly dark aspect of society and a very current day problem, and it's an exploration of the things that go wrong (and right) in our world.