Welcome back to Dungirri, a small outback town in Australia. All Kris Matthew’s, the town cop, wants is for the town to move past the tragedies of last couple of years. Unfortunately a stray encounter with the once local boy Morgan ‘Gil’ Gillespie means that she is thrown right back into the thick of things she never thought could happen in her town again.
Gil Gillespie left Dungirri eighteen years ago after a tragic accident which resulted not only in a death but with him being framed for the death. He’s back in town to pay his debts and close the door on his past once and for all but Gil can’t out run his past.
Kris is no a nonsense, take charge, practical police sergeant who understands just how people from a small town work. She loves Dungirri and is determined that the town won’t fade in to obscurity like so many other small towns thought out Australia. Gil is a dark and somewhat cynical man with secrets from his life outside of Dungirri that just could put the final nail in the coffin for the small struggling town.
A chance meeting on a dark road sees Kris inadvertently become Gil’s alibi and the pace picks up from there. As we saw in As Darkness Falls Ms Parry is a master of weaving sub plots throughout her books which leaves you on the edge just waiting to see what happens next. There are murders a plenty but none of them are gratuitously written. Each in its own right adds a layer to the plot and you know that they aren’t thrown in to keep the story running. The romance between Kris and Gil is like a pot put on low to simmer. Pieces get added throughout the book culminating in a realistic relationship that you know will last the test of time.
For anyone who is not Australian, if you really want to know what we are like, read this book and the previous book by Ms Parry As Darkness Falls. We don’t walk around saying ‘crikey’ or put a ‘shrimp on the barbie’. Unfortunately like every other country in the world, we have organised crime and a darker seamier side of life but the Australian nature endures and overcomes. I love the way that Ms Parry portrays the Australian people. When reading her books I feel like I am reading about people who could be my neighbours. The way she describes the camaraderie of small towns is exactly what I grew up with and to this day it hasn’t changed.