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Blood Moon


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Blood Moon is the fifth in Garry Disher's series of novels featuring Hal Challis and Ellen Destry. The first, The Dragon Man, won the German Crime Fiction Prize and the fourth, Chain of Evidence, won the 2007 Ned Kelly Award.


Two major crimes occupy Det. Insp. Hal Challis and his subordinate and now lover, Sgt. Ellen Destry, in this superior police procedural from Australian Disher, the fifth entry in the Ned Kelly Award-winning series (after 2007's Chain of Evidence). Challis and his team of Waterloo, Queensland, officers investigate the brutal assault on a private school chaplain as well as the murder of a public official in charge of enforcing compliance with land use regulations. Extra pressure for the first case's resolution comes from a prominent politician who already has an axe to grind with the police. That Challis's relationship with Destry violates police regulations complicates matters. Disher has a gift for terse description (e.g., Challis's boss "wore the look of a man who'd been adored but only by his mother and long ago"). While the deus ex machina solution to the official's murder may disappoint some, the personal interactions among Challis and his colleagues will quickly engage even newcomers. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Verdict: Despite a rather abrupt ending, Disher's compelling procedural offers plenty of detailed, realistic casework, but the most satisfying reading pleasure lies in the complex interactions among his richly developed and very human characters. Australian crime writers have been long underappreciated here, but Disher's latest may start to change some mystery fans' minds. [Disher's U.S. tour concludes with an appearance at Book Expo America; see Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/08.] Background: In this fifth Inspector Hall Challis title (after the Ned Kelly Award-winning Chain of Evidence), Challis and Destry are now lovers and living together when they are called to investigate the brutal beating of a chaplain at a posh private school. It seems the chaplain heads a fundamentalist church, and his brother, who works for a prominent politician, writes a racist blog. The case is further complicated when one of Challis's officers allows the brother to compromise the crime scene. At the same time, the team must probe a sexual assault during Schoolies Week (the Aussie equivalent of spring break) and identify the murderer of a young woman in charge of punishing land use violations on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula. Was it her job or her jealous, controlling husband that led to her death?-Wilda Williams, Library Journal Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Fans of Garry Disher's crime novels featuring Sergeant Ellen Destry and D I Hal Challis will certainly not be disappointed in this book, the fifth in the series. Disher's skilful writing grabs the reader's attention within the first pages and doesn't let go until the book reaches its very satisfying conclusion. In the town of Waterloo on the Victorian Peninsula, the police are gearing up to deal with the influx of young people attending schoolies week and the toolies (kids 'too old for school') who prey on them. When the body of a woman is found brutally murdered outside the gates of an isolated property, police resources are stretched. Destry and Challis, who are working on the case, are in the early stages of a relationship made difficult not only by their working together, but by the fact that Destry is trying to deal with a haunting personal secret. The murder investigation is cleverly woven into a book with twists and turns which deal with interesting characters and their problems, cyber bulling and conservation issues. This topical book, which is well written, thought provoking and gripping, will appeal to readers of authors such as Ian Rankin and Michael Robotham. (See interview with Garry Disher page 38.) Susan Watt is the manager of Next Chapter Books, Wahroonga

`Masterful...The action is taut and every line of dialogue rings as clearly as a bell. Blood Moon is a fine example of just how good crime writing can be.' * Australian *
`Easily the equal of...John Harvey, Ian Rankin and other leaders.' * Canberra Times *
`A rare pleasure.' * New York Times *

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