The fifth Hal Challis investigation, set in southeast Australia
It’s been a busy few days for Inspector Hal Challis. The school year has just ended, and with the sudden influx of rowdy teenagers on break, Waterloo has become a hotbed for petty crimes. But there are also more serious matters at hand. A well-connected chaplain at a prestigious school has been brutally beaten, and a local official has turned up dead. If Challis was having a hard time keeping up with the caseload before, it certainly hasn’t helped matters that he’s become romantically involved with his colleague Ellen Destry. Challis struggles to maintain a clear head as the crimes mount. Will their relationship derail all they’ve worked for?
Two major crimes occupy Det. Insp. Hal Challis and his subordinate and now lover, Sgt. Ellen Destry, in this superior police procedural from Australian Disher, the fifth entry in the Ned Kelly Award winning series (after 2007's Chain of Evidence). Challis and his team of Waterloo, Queensland, officers investigate the brutal assault on a private school chaplain as well as the murder of a public official in charge of enforcing compliance with land use regulations. Extra pressure for the first case's resolution comes from a prominent politician who already has an axe to grind with the police. That Challis's relationship with Destry violates police regulations complicates matters. Disher has a gift for terse description (e.g., Challis's boss "wore the look of a man who'd been adored but only by his mother and long ago"). While the deus ex machina solution to the official's murder may disappoint some, the personal interactions among Challis and his colleagues will quickly engage even newcomers. Author tour.