On the inside, Detective Nhu 'Ned' Kelly is a mess. Stitched up after being shot, her brain's taking even longer to heal than her body. On the outside, though, she's perfect, at least as far as the top brass are concerned. Cabramatta is riding high on the new 'Asian crime wave', a nightmare of heroin, home invasions, and hits of all kinds, and the cops need a way into the world of teenaged dealers and assassins.
They think Ned's Vietnamese heritage is the right fit but nothing in Cabra can be taken at face value. Ned doesn't speak the language and the ra choi – the lawless kids who have 'gone out to play' – are just running rings around her. The next blow could come from anywhere, or anyone. And beyond the headlines and hysteria, Ned is itching to make a play for the kingpin, the person behind it all with the money and the plan and the power.
Beams Falling is the brilliantly compelling and gritty second novel by the rising star of Australian crime writing. A portrait of our recent past, it's also a compulsive and utterly authentic insight into the way both cops and criminals work.
P.M. Newton spent over a decade as a detective in the NSW police force, including time in Sydney's southwest and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Her first novel was the acclaimed The Old School.
'Newton raises the bar for Australian crime fiction.' Men's Style
'Newton has a brilliant way with words - her descriptions of settings so accurate you can smell the markets, the dirty back streets, and the decay… Detective Nhu 'Ned' Kelly is a wonderful female protagonist – she is complex, likable, stressed, determined and compassionate ... A great read!' Reading, Writing and Riesling
'The greatest strength of this novel, like its predecessor, is the depiction of daily police work. No one has done this better than Newton . . . the crime novel needs to break out of its conventional treatment of plot and character from time to time, and Newton is possibly doing something important here, whatever the reason. Beams Falling is an odd book, and a terrific one.' The Saturday Paper
'Newton's gift for characterisation and her acute eye for detail result in authentic and compelling descriptions of Vietnamese society and life in Cabramatta.' West Australian
'Part police procedural, historical fiction and social commentary, Beams Falling looks at the human stories behind the headlines.' Daily Telegraph
'It's precisely the unshowy tautness of [Newton's] books and character-rich, layered plotting that becomes their strength. As Beams Falling starts to really grip, about halfway through, it feels as if it has more substance than many of its showier competitors.' The Australian
'This is an exceedingly well written and convincing novel that excels in its characterisations and subtle plotting . . . a first-class crime novel.' The Sunday Canberra Times