by Garry Disher
Review by Steve Sawicki
Soho Crime Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616951740
Date: 18 December 2012 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Hal Challis is having a tough time. He's spoken out against police budget cuts which have affected his station, his girlfriend is on holiday, there's a cat burglar running around stealing art pieces, a rapist is using a police uniform to get to women, and someone has decided that graffiti on entry gates is the best form of social commentary. To say that Challis is having a bad day and it's only going downhill from there is putting things lightly. And to make matters worse, a young sergeant on assignment from the sex crimes unit arrives and starts to make everyone nervous.
There's a fair amount of, well not outright humor, but funny sarcasm and satire and outright irony here as Disher surrounds Challis with situation after situation, most of them bad. The writing is actually pretty complex and the situations seemingly unrelated in a way that makes you wonder how it is ever going to come together. And yet, by the end, it's all tied neatly up.
This is pretty good writing. There are complex motions here that Disher manages to keep his fingers on at all times. There are layers under layers under layers and it all seems to work even though at the time it all seems so disparate. I found myself wondering a lot about why Disher seemed to keep adding pieces even though the book seemed to be already moving in too many different directions. But it all worked which is a great thing for a reader to experience.
I enjoyed the read, found the character and the situations very entertaining and will look for Disher's work in the future. Definitely recommended.