- 17 Jul 19
Down Under Whodunnit With A Difference
The premise of this debut thriller from the Irish-born but well-travelled Delargy is a good one. An injured man, Gabriel, stumbles into the police station in Wilbrook, located in rural Western Australia. He claims to have been abducted by a potential serial killer called Heath who is intent on claiming him as his 55th victim. Before you can say Manhunt, Heath is brought in by an angry local who caught him trying to steal his car. Heath protests he was only doing this to escape from Gabriel who was planning to make him his 55th kill.
It’s Sergeant Chandler Jenkins conundrum to solve, or at least it is until old partner Mitch Andrews, now his superior officer stationed in nearby Port Headland, shows up to take over. Old wounds and rivalries re-open as they try to uncover the truth, Delargy using flashbacks to an older missing persons case to illustrate how rough the relationship has always been, and what kind of man Mitch is.
The book rattles along nicely, the rural setting proving particularly effective in adding a sense of claustrophobia to a thickening plot, and Mitch is a bastard who is delightfully easy to hate. The characters of Gabriel and Heath are skilfully played off against each other and the reader, just like the investigating officers, is left not knowing who or what to believe. By the time you race to the ending, you’ll understand why the movie rights have already been secured. If you see this on your way through the airport, go ahead and pick it up.