Hirsch’s rural beat is wide. Daybreak to day’s end, dirt roads and dust. Every problem that besets small towns and isolated properties, from unlicensed driving to arson. In the time of the virus, Hirsch is seeing stresses heightened and social divisions cracking wide open. His own tolerance under strain; people getting close to the edge.
Today he’s driving an international visitor around: Janne Van Sant, whose backpacker son went missing while the borders were closed. They’re checking out his last photo site, his last employer. A feeling that the stories don’t quite add up.
Then a call comes in: a roadside fire. Nothing much—a suitcase soaked in diesel and set alight—but two noteworthy facts emerge. Janne knows more than Hirsch about forensic evidence. And the body in the suitcase is not her son’s.
Garry Disher has published over fifty titles across multiple genres. With a growing international reputation for his best-selling crime novels, he has won four German and three Australian awards for best crime novel of the year, and been longlisted twice for a British CWA Dagger award. In 2018 he received the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award.
‘Disher is, as always, a deft and compelling crime novelist, and he has crafted a provocative whodunnit that is grounded firmly in the current moment.’ Guardian on The Way It Is Now
‘Lyrical and haunting…Read the The Way It Is Now for its big heart and the way in which it lyrically captures a moment in time.’Sydney Morning Herald on The Way It Is Now
‘Disher is one the foremost proponents of rural noir.’ Sunday Times on Consolation
Garry Disher has verbal diarrhoea but in the best possible way. He has the art of ‘stuffing’ each paragraph, each sentence with information in descriptive format. A brilliant author. Can’t wait for the next novel in this series. Have never been disappointed, enthralled from page 1.
Best Hirsch adventure so far
The author is Australian with over 40 published titles to his credit: both non-fiction and fiction for adults and children. Best known for his crime novels. This is the 4th is a series about a solo police constable in a small fictional community in the “mid-North” region of South Australia: the same general area as Snowtown, which might be why Mr D chose it.
Hirsch was once a detective in the city. He was demoted and “sent bush” after blowing the whistle on certain corrupt superiors. Now he is the sole cop covering an area the size of Belgium, and does a lot of driving. His sergeant is based in a somewhat larger town an hour’s drive south. His inspector is in Port Pirie.He has a love interest with a teenage daughter, and does his best to fit in with the locals.
This book opens with our boy assisting a Belgian woman looking for her son who disappeared months earlier while, or soon after, working on a local sheep station. She turns out to be a forensic scientist back in the old country, which comes in handy when Hirsch is confronted by the first of many dead bodies. From there, Mr Disher weaves a complex plot that blends the routine duties of Hirsch’s day with cyber bullying and cyber crime, meth heads, vaccine refusniks, racism involving local aboriginals, white supremacists and sundry other right wing extremists, undercover federal police, and a steadily increasing body count. Resolution of sorts is achieved by the end.
This is a golden age for crime writers in the land down under: Jane Harper, Chris Hammer, Emma Viskic, and Christian White to name but a few. Mr Disher is right up there with the best, as evidenced by how well he wrangles the improbably large number of topical plot threads here into a satisfying and cogent conclusion.
Do not buy this.
Disappointed that I paid for this. The sample seemed alright but the story didn’t go anywhere. Too political, the author too opinionated when it came to Covid and vaccinations. I’d almost go as far as to say the author had a political agenda, or hoping to gain popularity for his stance on Covid. There was little to no action in this book, up until the last few chapters and then the story ended abruptly. I would love to get a refund.