Review Blog

Dec 18 2016

Signal loss by Garry Disher

cover image

Inspector Challis bk 7. Text Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925355260
(Age: 15+) Recommended. The seventh book in the Inspector Challis series, set on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, sees Hal investigating not only the spread of the drug ice, but the reason that two hit men from Sydney are found in a burnt-out Mercedes after a bushfire. Meanwhile Ellen Destry, head of the sex crimes unit, is investigating a serial rapist who breaks into the homes of young women.
It is not necessary to have read all the previous books in the series to enjoy Signal Loss - although of course, a reader would have a fuller picture of the background and personalities of the main character if the books had been read. Disher is a master of the written word and he fleshes out his detectives very well even for a newcomer to the series.
The reader will find plenty of complexity and interest as each of the detectives investigates the difficult situations that confront them. Detective Constable Pam Murphy has to confront her beliefs as she gets to know one of the suspects in the drug case. The dangers of the ice trade and how it is conducted are frightening and the reader becomes aware of the problems surrounding sex crimes.
Excellent descriptions of the people, the landscape and emotions provide a great background to the tightly written plot, and the reader is left wanting to read more novels about Hal and Ellen and the police force on the Mornington Peninsula.
A must read for people who like crime novels.
Pat Pledger

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