I tend to be a speed reader to a fault – I know I miss stuff – but there are some audiobooks that really drive home why I am the way I am. Even at 1.25x speed, this one dragged. I did the last third or so at 1.5x which veered into chipmunk territory but it was necessary just to drag me to the finish line. It did not help matters that I google-spoiled the mystery for myself. Whoops?
The book is set in drought-ridden, small-town Australia where 3 members of a local family have been found murdered, with the baby as the only survivor. Now a federal agent in Melbourne, Aaron Falk returns to a town he hasn’t seen in twenty years for the funeral of his childhood friend. He and his father had fled two decades prior, falsely accused of a separate murder, and it still hangs over Falk even as his friend’s parents as him to look into their son’s death.
The dual storylines add an interesting punch to an otherwise by-numbers story. Most of the reason I went and spoiled the story from myself was because a character was introduced that made my gut go “Ah, it’s them. They did it” and I was right. The Aussie accents in the audiobook were fun, but this is one I could have finished in half the time if I’d done it my way. Mysteries make for great walking books but only if they pick up the pace.
It’s a multiple-murder mystery, so there are descriptions of death and some gore, and also talk of abuse, just a heads up if anyone is going to read it.