My rating: 2 of 5 stars
“Nothing like old-fashioned misogyny to make the ignorant turn down good advice.”
There are a lot of positive reviews on this book, and yes people like different things but im sitting here like “Did i miss something?” “Did i read the same book?”. To be completely honest I was disappointed. I have read a lot of mystery thrillers and I can name a lot more captivating and suspenseful books. I didn’t realize this was a debut novel, or that the writer was Australian but should this change my opinion? No. I still didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would, and to like something simply based on it being a debut novel from an Australian author (Im an Australian), that shouldn’t deter my opinion although we dont have enough Australian authors.
Federal Agent Aaron Falk is headed back to his hometown for the first time in decades. Being chased out of town with his father after being accused of murder, Aaron has never looked back. 20 years ago when he was accused, Luke was his alibi. Now Luke is the reason he is returning, accused of murdering his family in cold blood before turning the gun on himself, conspiracy and doubt clouds the man everyone thought they knew.
In the midst of a terrible drought, with anger and tempers running high all around him, Aaron and the local detective will try to work out what really happened. Did Luke change so much as a person that he murdered his entire family? Who really killed that girl 20 years ago? And how far are they willing to go to uncover the truth about everything that’s happened in this small Victorian town.
I, unfortunately, didn’t enjoy the plot. It felt like it has been done before only this time in Victoria in the midst of a drought. There was no real wow factor for me, and it was more my curiosity that kept me reading. Mystery thriller has to be the only genre I have never dnf’d.
There wasn’t anything wrong with the writing per say, in fact, there were some really good sentences and paragraphs; I just needed more suspense, something original and more wow factor in the plot to really draw me in. I did feel like it was a little slow at points, and the ‘reveal’ wasn’t as POW! as it could have been.
“Death rarely changes how we feel about someone. Heightens it, more often than not.”
The characters were okay, I feel like a lot of them weren’t meant to be likable. My problem was that there wasn’t anything interesting about them, if anything I found them slightly boring and one dimensional. I did feel for Lukes family and for Aaron back when he was accused of murdering that girl and being run out of town, but the murdered girl for me was the most interesting of them all and the girl was dead besides the flashbacks.
“To look out and see not another soul between you and the horizon could be a strange and disturbing sight.”
Overall im rather disappointed in this book. I dont hate it, but i am a little meh. I expected more than what I got, but im not sure if its because I’ve read so many good mystery thrillers or because I’ve read too many good ones recently or if it just wasn’t the book for me.
I will read Jane Harper’s next book, which I think is already out? because im not quite ready to say im not a fan of her writing, and authors tend to get better the more they write.
Recommended for: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller.