Review: BLOOD MOON, Garry Disher

  • published by Text Publishing 2009
  • ISBN 978-1-921351-87-7
  • 314 pages
  • Source: my local library
  • #5 in the Challis & Destry series

Synopsis (Amazon)

When hordes of eighteen-year-olds descend on the Peninsula to celebrate the end of exams, the overstretched police of Waterloo know they can expect party drugs and public drunkenness.

What they don’t count on is a brutal bashing that turns political. The victim is connected. And for Detective Inspector Hal Challis, newly embarked on a relationship with his sergeant, Ellen Destry, this is not the best time to have the brass on his back. Especially when a bludgeoned corpse is found outside town and it becomes clear something much darker than adolescent craziness is going down.

My take

When I recently read WHISPERING DEATH (#6 in the Challis & Destry series) I realised that I had somehow missed reading #5, BLOOD MOON.

The setting of BLOOD MOON is Schoolies Week, a week at the end of the school year when those finishing their schooling cut loose in various resorts all over Australia. There is an unbelievable level of tension as local residents hold their breath, waiting to see what damage the teenagers cause, how many of them are charged with drug abuse or drunkenness, how many clashes there are with the authorities. The events in BLOOD MOON align well with what the public “knows” can happen in Schoolies Week.

BLOOD MOON is a very authentic feeling police procedural with a number of concurrent investigations balanced against the personal relationships of the members of Hal Challis’ team, including his own with Ellen Destry. The investigation into the bashing of a school chaplain moves into the background with the murder of a female worker in the Planning Office whom we already know quite a bit about: that she is constantly stalked and watched by her husband, that she has been a leading participant in an attempt to preserve an old beach front house against demolition.The reader already feels well equipped to leap into this new investigation.

Domestic happenings and small town politics in an Australian setting make for an excellent crime fiction outing.

My rating: 4.7

Other reviews to check:

Other reviews of Garry Disher titles on MiP
4.7, WYATT
4.8, WHISPERING DEATH

The Challis & Destry novels
The Dragon Man (1999)
Kittyhawk Down (2003)
Snapshot (2005)
Chain of Evidence (2007)
Blood Moon (2009)
Whispering Death (2011)

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4 thoughts on “Review: BLOOD MOON, Garry Disher

  1. I missed this one too Kerrie….I also entirely missed the schoolies phenomenon – never had it in my day (now I sound like my parents talking about things in my day)

  2. Just skimmed your review as I am a bit behind on this series. Only the first two were published here in the UK, by Bitter Lemon. The subsequent novels are only obtainable in US (Soho crime) editions and they are jolly expensive. I keep hoping they’ll go down – I read the third and found it good but depressing.

  3. Pingback: A fair dinkum month – January 2012 (and a bit of December 2011) | Fair Dinkum Crime

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