There is going to be some serious hype surrounding this debut Australian crime novel. Trust me, believe it. This is an addictive, dark and gripping thriller that easily rivals the likes of Michael Connelly & Co. But the book needs to come with a warning. You may have nightmares and you will probably want at least a 20 minute shower when you finish reading it. To say the book is dark is a gross understatement.
Tony Cavanaugh’s background is in film and television and you can definitely ‘see’ the book as you are reading it. But that is not say it reads like it was written for television. He is obviously an accomplished writer and the book reads like Tony is a veteran bestseller, not a debut author. His eye for location is spot on and the story is constantly moving and original. And did I mention dark?
The book is set on the Sunshine Coast, a perfect location for a crime novel and the perfect location for a sadistic serial killer to reside and hide. Cavanaugh goes behind the tourist façade and explores the ‘other’ Noosa. One of corruption and naivety, violence and innocence.
Darian Richards is a burnt out Homicide Detective who has fled Melbourne and his career as a cop. But the Sunshine Coast is not the paradise he was seeking. Someone is taking young girls and the local police are out of their depth. And once a cop, always a cop.
Cavanaugh takes you to some very dark places especially when he starts telling the story from the serial killer’s point of view. As a father of two girls I found parts extremely confronting but the overall book is so compelling you can’t put it down. Darian Richards is a perfectly realized and a brilliantly flawed hero and the serial killer is devastatingly diabolical. This is not for the faint of heart. It is brutal. It is shocking. And it is completely addictive.