This is a review from Canadian Bill Selnes who blogs about crime fiction (and more) at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan where he originally posted this review.
Detective Rubens McCauley has returned to the mean streets of St. Kilda after recovering from a bullet wound to his shoulder. 18 year old street kid, Dallas Boyd, has been found dead of an apparent overdose in the alley beside a restaurant.
Against the background of a late summer heat wave and horrific bush fires raging north of Melbourne McCauley allows himself to be persuaded it is a routine O.D. that needs but a superficial investigation. Uncomfortable with his decision McCauley looks deeper into the facts and finds a series of anomalies. Boyd has been murdered. McCauley starts down the uncomfortable path of admitting his first assessment was wrong. At the same time McCauley is re-evaluating his personal life. His mother has had a stroke and he is reaching out to his ex-wife, Ella, hoping for a reconciliation. The plot takes McCauley into a sordid degrading area of street life. While the plot is predictable it is credible. The story is firmly rooted in St. Kilda. It is uncommon, but nice, to read a police procedural with a real mix of crime and family. It is a good mystery.