Phillip Gwynne is intimately connected to both Darwin (he lived, and worked, there in the 80's) and the Police Force (three of his siblings are, or have been, cops). He is the author of acclaimed bestsellers Deadly, Unna and Nukkin Ya and the AFI-winning screenwriter of Australian Rules. Phillip lives in Leura, in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
This debut adult crime novel from the author of Deadly Unna is set in Darwin. This is, I believe, a first. The main character is Detective Dusty Buchanon, a female cop in the very male world of the Northern Territory police force. Dusty gets taken off a case she had been working on by the new female commander and nearly considers leaving the force. However the discovery of the dead body of a young Thai prostitute, found in a billabong near a camp of disaffected Vietnam Veterans, looks to get her back on top. Then the body disappears and her colleagues turn against her--but she's tough and determined to get to the bottom of the case. Dusty is a likeable hero and the somewhat exotic setting of Darwin (to me anyway) with its melting pot of people and cultures makes for a very good and 'unputdownable' thriller, with a bit of sex and dark humour to carry it along. I thoroughly enjoyed it and eagerly look forward to the further adventures of Dusty Buchanon. Peter Milne is a crime aficionado and director of Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney