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Clare A Kelly
2.0 out of 5 starsThe end of the line
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2019
Note to self: no more Gemma for me. I knew whodunnit the instant the character was introduced and then endured another 3 hours of tedious hyperventilating on the part of the heroine to confirm I was right. No one could be that dumb. The location worked some magic, but that was the high point by some margin.
3.0 out of 5 starsA fast read but a forgettable one
Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2019
Set in a fictional town north of Byron Bay, this is about the investigation into a missing girl and the murder of her on again-off again boyfriend. Gemma Woodstock is brought in as a stand-in detective to lead the investigation after the local inspector is involved in a car accident. She finds a town full of secrets, very Broadchurch in feel.
This is the third book featuring detective Gemma Woodstock and while there is some back story, it can be read as a standalone. Each of the books has been set in a different location and some time apart. She is a flawed character and I am finding her somewhat too flawed, to the point where she makes irrational and annoying decisions to, I don't know, make her more interesting to the reader. The mystery is convoluted but the book has good momentum and kept me interested throughout.
The setting bothered me. I've visited that part of Australia a few times and it didn't feel realistic to me. It seemed like the author was trying to make it seem far more remote than it is. It would have been just outside Tweed Heads and the sprawl of the Gold Coast but it's like those places didn't exist. Setting it south of Byron Bay would have made more sense to me.