Winter in Tiverton.
Constable Paul Hirschhausen has a snowdropper on his patch. Someone is stealing women's underwear, and Hirsch knows enough about that kind of crime-how it can escalate-not to take it lightly.
But the more immediate concern is a high school teacher worried about one of the students.
A little girl in danger. A family on the edge. An absent father who isn't where he's supposed to be.
The cold, seeping feeling something is very, very wrong.
Love Australian noir? Read this!
I've loved the two previous books in Garry Disher's Paul Hirschhausen series and Consolation has certainly cemented this as one of my all-time favourite crime series.
Six months after the events of Peace, Constable Paul Hirschhausen remains the lone police officer responsible for the remote South Australian town of Tiverton and its surrounding area. In the midst of a bitter winter, Hirsch is required to deal with the wide variety of criminal, domestic and community issues that readers have come to expect. There's a snowdropper active in Tiverton and nearby Redruth, who curiously seems to target the undergarments of the area's senior residents left hanging outside on lines. Hirsch is called by a teaching colleague of his partner Wendy, and asked to carry out a welfare check on a child who is schooled remotely. A local stock dealer doesn't seem to be honouring his financial commitments, sending ripples throughout the small community. A volatile farmer causes ructions at the local primary school when he turns up and threatens the principal over percieved unfair treatment of his daughter. All fairly standard fare for a country copper.
However, it doesn't take long for the various call-outs to develop and become more complicated, and with the unexpected absence of his sergeant from Redruth, Hirsch now finds himself responsible for a wider area and two junior officers.
Like Bitter Wash Road (aka Hell to Pay) and Peace, Consolation is an action-packed and engrossing rural noir read, with many complex and intersecting storylines and a great collection of well-developed characters. Disher's portrayal of the landscape, climate and issues facing those who live in the backblocks of South Australia remain as evocative as ever. The well-crafted prose and realistic dialogue made this an unputdownable read for me. I can't wait for my next Hirsch fix!
My thanks to Garry Disher, publisher Text Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Consolation prior to publication.