His long-running series re-branded “Peninsula Crimes,” Garry Disher’s seventh Challis and Destry novel is a fine police procedural. Its Mornington Peninsula setting makes for a refreshing break from the urban landscapes that dominate the genre, and Disher’s exploration of ice production and addiction in rural Australia is fittingly topical.
In Signal Loss, two plot threads weave around each other like a double helix, never intersecting, just occurring concurrently. The novel starts off with two hitmen being hired to eliminate a seemingly low-level target. They can’t quite understand why they’re being paid $50,000 for such an easy job, but who’re they to argue? It sounds like an easy job, in and out, easy as. But they didn’t count on the bush fire, which leaves both men dead, and the Mornington Peninsula police — Challis in particular — convinced the local ice epidemic has introduced some major big-city players. Meanwhile, Ellen Destry, in charge of the sex crime unit, is hunting a serial rapist who leaves no evidence behind.
The plot has its share of boilerplate elements, as all police procedurals do, but its the colourful cast of well-formed characters, with their distinct personalities, that makes Signal Loss so compelling. Readers who’ve yet to sample Disher’s Peninsula Crimes series shouldn’t be worried about coming in late in proceedings; this seventh book serves as a perfect introduction.
Disher’s crime novels are at the top of the genre’s food chain and Signal Loss is another well-crafted police procedural.
Format: Paperback (235mm x 158mm x 31mm)
Imprint: The Text Publishing Company
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Publish Date: 31-Oct-2016
Country of Publication: Australia