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With a lurid beginning, Disher's third Australian procedural (after Kittyhawk Down) grips the reader from page one. Inspector Challis is a likable, average guy who realizes he has the supervisor from hell when the boss's daughter-in-law is murdered. Superintendent McQuarrie belittles, threatens, and stops just short of interfering in the investigation. However, Challis remains true to his profession and to himself. Disher is masterly at character development, offering more than fleeting glimpses into the lives of police, criminals, and their families. Most fascinating are the "Australianisms": the goodie bags police give to courteous drivers, expressions like footy (football) and crims (criminals), and a befuddled, traffic-stopping koala. Despite too many coincidences, this book fascinates to the last page, when the tangled twists and turns finally unravel. An excellent addition to all mystery collections.-Susan G. Baird, Chicago Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Fans of grim, uncompromising police procedurals will welcome Australian Disher's gritty, well-plotted third novel to feature Insp. Hal Challis (after 2005's Kittyhawk Down). A dedicated but haunted man, the Melbourne homicide detective is still recovering emotionally from his late wife's attempt to kill him. When Janine McQuarrie, a therapist who happens to be the daughter-in-law of Challis's police superintendent, is gunned down in front of her seven-year-old daughter, Challis and his longtime partner, Ellen Destry, get on the case. Their discovery that the victim had recently sent pictures from an orgy to some of its participants-including her own husband-leads to a number of suspects, including their boss. Soon, more bodies turn up, suggesting that McQuarrie may have been mistaken for someone else. A fully realized character, Challis is the fitting center of what will hopefully be a long series. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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