Hell to Pay
by Garry Disher
Cover Artist: Stephen Carroll / Arcangel Images
Review by Steve Sawicki
Soho Crime Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616953959
Date: 24 June 2014 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Paul Hirsch is a constable, a recently demoted detective exiled from Adelaide to Tiverton for ratting out his mates. Even though they were guilty and jailed, Hirsch still broke the code and is paying the price. Thus, he finds himself in a rustic town three hours from any city, riding farm roads and dealing with a population that is struggling with an economy that has gone south a long time ago and shows no sign of returning.
But corruption seems to follow Hirsch and he quickly finds himself on the wrong end of a puzzle when a 16 year old girl is found dead on the side of the road. The clues point to local police and others high up in the town social structure. When Adelaide sends detectives to ask him to keep them informed of his investigation he realizes he's back in a bad situation all over again.
Garry Disher presents a page turner set in the Australian farm country where the people trust only each other and even then only so far. Disher takes us through the countryside as if it were just outside our own doors and creates a twisted story of revenge, corruption and people who either don't know enough to act or think that not acting is the best course of action. It's convoluted, with no clear winner and Disher sets his characters directly in the center of it all.
I enjoyed this book. It's an amazing example of what a writer can do with simple facts and a plain setting. Disher creates a very entertaining and engaging story that you simply have to finish. I highly recommend it. A great read for those of you who enjoy a good tale with a bite.