Sunset shadows by Bronwyn Parry
Goodabri bk. 3. Hachette Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780733633317
(Age: 15+) Recommended for fans of romantic suspense. This is the third book in the Goodabri series, following Dead heat and Storm clouds, but could be read as a stand-alone although as with all series, some background is given in the previous books. Steve Fraser and Tess Ballard, both police officers, save the lives of 50 cult members but put their careers on the line when it appears that one of them may have killed the cult leader. One of the cult members is Steve's sister who has two children, and he finds himself having to deal with long buried family issues while trying to protect them. Tess, too, is hiding secrets from her past and has to confront the feelings and the danger that she is facing because of the cult.
Readers will enjoy the vivid descriptions of the Australian bush and the small country towns of northern New South Wales, as Parry brings to life what it is like to live in outback Australia. Her descriptions of cult life and the effect that it has on its members, even when they have managed to escape the confines of that system, are quite harrowing and bring a depth to the story that elevates it above the average romantic suspense story. There is much tension and excitement as the pair trail the cult leaders and drug dealers through the bush.
Readers who have read the first two in the series will be happy to follow the story of Steve Fraser and the unexpected conclusion to his troubles, and Tess is a gritty heroine, whose determination to overcome her past is engaging.
Bronwyn Parry has won awards for her romantic suspense stories and Sunset shadows will not disappoint her fans.