For some unknown reason, the switch to home working and being in lockdown mode has also resulted in me reading less fiction. My non-fiction reading has increased though I have resisted the urge to bone up on things related to coronavirus.
Second in the (excellent) Challis & Destry police procedural series set, largely, in the Mornington Peninsula area in Australia,
This outing for the police has them dealing with several weird incidents: there’s the dead body fished out of the ocean, sprees of stolen cars and burned letter boxes, someone attacking courting couples in their car, and the attempted ramming of a plane by a car. Quite a handful.
The author does a great job of tying the strands together to bring the reader a believable picture of life in that part of the world, with interesting characters and their various brushes with danger.
This is a terrific crime caper with twist after twist featuring intrepid investigative journalist Jack Parlabane. He is asked by a dead man’s sister to look into his death in a car crash on a deserted road that occurred within months of his whirlwind romance with Diana Jager, a surgeon and blogger whose anonymity was ripped away from her, sending her in to medical Coventry. Parlabane’s inquiries inevitably start a chain of events that will keep you on your toes and guessing till the very end.
Number three in the Challis and Destry series. Janine McQuarrie, a young wife and mother, is shot to death. and killed. Did the murder have anything to do with the wife swapping party she recently attended at the behest of her husband? And why does her father-in-law, Superintendent McQuarrie, seem to be so obstructive in Challis’s investigation? Again, the author delivers a well drawn scene and populates with interesting characters and intriguing interaction. This is in the top rank of police procedural novels.
Number four in the Challis and Destry series. Inspector Hal Challis returns to his hometown in the Australian Outback. His father is dying and his sister, whose husband disappeared years before, is doing her best to care for the man. Challis splits his time between helping with his father and looking into his brother-in-law’s disappearance. In the course of his investigation, he duly stirs up a hornet’s nest.
Meantime, Sergeant Ellen Destry, his potential love interest, is trying to prove she is good enough to run the Crime Investigation Unit on her own. Unfortunately, in a less than friendly environment, she also has the horrendous task of trying to find a little girl who has disappeared amidst all the consequent media attention and pressure.
The two strands mean there’s a bit of to and fro for the reader to cope with, but the inconvenience is modest and the payoff is another good read.