Consolation by Garry Disher

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Paul Hirschhausen book 3. Text Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781922330260.
(Age: Adult - Senior Secondary) Highly recommended. Disher visits the small South Australian town of Tiverton once again as Constable Paul Hirschhausen begins to investigate a series of crimes that is plaguing the region. Someone is stealing older women's underwear from their clothes lines. He has received a call about a child who might be at risk and one about a farmer who is angry about the treatment his child has received at the hands of the principal of the local school. At the same time winter is closing in and frustrations are growing.
Disher is a master at creating a setting: the dry, cold loneliness of outback of South Australia comes alive in his descriptions as Hirsch makes his routine visits to outlying farms and properties, checking that all is well with these isolated people. He knows the disparate inhabitants of the small community of Redruth, which is his patch, and the inner workings of the police in a small town and their relationship with the city police, are exposed as he traces the movements of the armed farmer and his son, so angry about everything, that they have gone on the run.
Hirsch is a likeable character who is easy to relate to. The reader can sympathise with him as he struggles to work out what to do about the young woman who appears to be stalking him, and delight in his relationship with Wendy and her daughter Katie. The wry repartee between Hirsch and many of the well-fleshed out characters in the book gives some lighter moments throughout the book.
The pace is fast and Disher juggles several sub-plots with ease drawing them all together by the conclusion of the book, giving a vivid insight into the life of a small-town police officer.
I am a fan of all of Garry Disher's books, and have really enjoyed reading about Hirsch in Consolation as well as Bitterwash Road and Peace. Fans of Jane Harper (The lost man and The dry) and Sarah Thornton's Lapse are sure to enjoy this series.
Pat Pledger