Tag Archives: Eva Dolan

My top fiction and non-fiction reads of 2014

Time for me to present Pulp Curry readers with the list of my best reads for 2014. As is customary, I will start off by admitting, yet again, I feel I have not read nearly as much as I should have. My reading this year has been dominated by books for work, including material for freelance articles and the various literary festival panels I’ve been involved in. A considerable amount of my attention has also been directed to reading related to the non-fiction book I have been co-editing, Beat Girls, Love Tribes and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950-1980, which is scheduled to be published in October 2015.

With all that said, here’s the top ten books I read in 2014. I’ve split my list in two this year – fiction and non-fiction.

My top fiction reads are as follows:


Escape Dominique Manotti

I have long been interested in the political history in Italy in the seventies and eighties, the so-called ‘years of lead’, when left wing paramilitary groups and right wing extremists in the military and police were locked in a shadowy, violent conflict. Dominique Manotti’s Escape is set in the late eighties and deals with the aftermath of that conflict. Filippo is a common street hood that shares a prison cell with Carlos, a charismatic former Red Brigade member.… Read more

Interview: Eva Dolan, author of Long Way Home


My first review of 2014 was Long Way Home, a cracker of a debut novel by British author, Eva Dolan. 

Long Way Home opens with the discovery of a corpse of an adult male migrant worker in the burnt out remains of a backyard shed. That makes it a job for the Hate Crimes Unit of the local Peterborough plod, and introduces the two main characters, themselves immigrants, DI Zigic, a third generation Serb living in the town, and his offsider, Ferrier, a young policewoman of Portuguese decent.

Long Way Home is a deceptively hardboiled story and an accomplished book from a writer I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from in the years to come.

Eva was nice enough to drop by Pulp Curry and answer some questions about researching and writing Long Way Home, the literary benefits of a quiet day job and the lessons she’s learning from playing poker applicable to writing crime fiction.

Tell us the story behind your debut novel, Long Way Home. What inspired it?

The initial inspiration for Long Way Home was a conversation I overheard in a pub – two men discussing the methods of a local gangmaster who conducted his business like a latter-day slave owner, keeping order with threats and beatings, withholding wages and skimming every way he could.… Read more

Book review: Long Way Home

Long Way HomeI’ve never been to Peterborough. In fact, I’d never even heard of the place until I’d read Eva Dolan’s gripping debut crime novel, Long Way Home.

Peterborough is the setting of Long Way Home, a suburban satellite town the Internet says is in the heart of rural East England. I won’t lie, Dolan’s novel didn’t exactly rocket the place to the top of my must see list of holiday destinations. But what is the Peterborough Tourism Board’s loss is a gain for lovers of great crime fiction.

Long Way Home opens with the discovery of a corpse of an adult male in the burnt out remains of a backyard shed. John Doe was a migrant farm labourer of Eastern European decent, part of the army of semi-illegal workers who have flooded into the area, with all the resulting problems and social tensions. That makes it a job for the Hate Crimes Unit of the local Peterborough plod, and introduces the two main characters, themselves immigrants, DI Zigic, a third generation Serb living in the town, and his offsider, Ferrier, a young policewoman of Portuguese decent.

The victim had been dosed in lighter fluid, the shed locked from the outside and set on fire, so it was no accident. That’s the only clear-cut part of the case, that and the fact there’s no shortage of possible suspects.… Read more

My year in books: Eva Dolan

Long Way HomeNext up in my year books is UK crime writer and reviewer, Eva Dolan.

Eva is someone who I expect to be appearing in best of lists this time next year, not writing them. Her debut novel, Long Way Home, is just out via Harvill Secker. The start of a new crime series, it’s already generating buzz. You can check out more details about it here. Long Way Home is at the very top of my to-be-read pile over Christmas. 

Eva is also a great book reviewer in her own right. You can sample her wares at her website, Loitering With Intent.

Anyway, she’s taking a slightly different tack to most of the other writers and reviewers who have featured so far in my year in books, but I’ll let her explain that.

Since I’ve reviewed so many crime books already this year I’ve decided to do a crime-free list. These are books which I’ve loved but didn’t feel quite equal to reviewing, the ones which are best left to more perceptive critics, but I still want to press them on anyone who’ll listen. Which is you lot.

Stoner,  John Williams

Generally I avoid heavily hyped books but this long overlooked mid-20th century American classic lives up to the praise which has been lavished on.… Read more

The Next Big Thing

Call me old fashioned, but I only just found out what an Internet meem is the other day when I was tagged to take part in the ‘Next Big Thing’.

A meme is something that spreads via the Internet. In this instance, it’s a string of short interview questions with various authors about their current book or work in progress.

I was tagged by New Jersey based crime writer Wallace Stroby. He also tagged Scott Alderberg, Alison Gaylin and Philadelphia author Dennis Tafoya. Esteemed company to be in.

Stroby is the author of a string of crime novels, the most recent of which I’ve read is Cold Shot to the Heart featuring the professional female thief, Crissa Stone. If you haven’t checked his work out already, I suggest you do so.

Since I have foresworn off blogging about my next book, I’ll answer the ten questions about my current novel, Ghost Money.

1. What’s the title of your current book?

Ghost Money, out through Snubnose Press.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

It came from working on and off as a journalist in Cambodia in the mid-nineties and becoming fascinated with the place, the people, and the contrast between the anything goes, Wild West atmosphere of Phnom Penh and the hardscrabble but incredibly beautiful countryside.… Read more