Day's end by Garry Disher

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Another rural crime set in South Australia, featuring Hirsch (Bitter Wash Road, Peace, and Consolation) will thrill fans who have enjoyed the series. Hirsch patrols a wide area, driving to isolated properties, checking on lonely people, as well as keeping an eye on the small township where he lives. Janne van Sant’s backpacker son has gone missing, and he has been asked to drive her around checking the last spots that he has been seen. Then a call comes in and Hirsch must deal with a roadside fire – a suitcase has been set alight and it contains a body. Hirsch has to contend with problems with people who are against COVID vaccination and there are rumours of anti-government sentiment amongst the young men in the community. And there are also rental scams and online bullying to deal with, as well as a plane crash and a dog attack.

Hirsch is a favourite character of mine. Disher manages to describe him as a very believable, fair person who takes his duties, both of solving crimes and watching over vulnerable people very seriously. He is intelligent and observant, and his wry comments alleviate the underlying tension in the story.

There are many layers to Day’s end. There is the mystery of the missing backpacker to solve, while the body of the tattooed man in the suitcase must be identified and his murderer found. The Federal Police become involved in what is happening on Hirsch’s watch, and he must be careful not to interfere with their case, while still carrying on using his knowledge of the country and the people.

This is a great read and I look forward to more in the Paul Hirschhausen series. Fans of the rural noir genre may also enjoy books by Jane Harper and Candice Fox.

Themes Murder, Crime, Rural noir.

Pat Pledger


A walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino

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Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781406341522.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Paris, Cities, Grandparents, Travel. A grandfather and his granddaughter spend a day walking through the main attractions of Paris, giving information about each place where they stop, and adding a few French words to the reader's vocabulary as they go.
At the day's end all readers will have a greater understanding of where the places of interest are in Paris, the City of Light, as well as some understanding of French culture.
Each double page is a delight, with colour filled drawings of the older man and his young charge, looking at the sights, sounds and colour of this magical city.
The endpapers have a map of Paris enabling the reader to follow their trail around the Seine, the city's river. The first endpaper is a map with their intended trail marked on it, while the last endpaper has a small index, drawings of their Bistro bill, tickets to some of the places they have seen, some euros and cakes.
One double page which interested me was the view from inside a bistro, and the text explains what a bistro is and why it is specifically French, then the images shows the girl and her grandpa sitting at a table while smaller images are redolent of some aspects of French culture. There is a dog in the bistro, a wall menu has the Plats du Jour, there is a range of people eating and drinking in the bistro, while through the window can be seen the Boulangerie.
On another double page is a view of the well known Paris streets, with their four stories, balconies and shops on the street level. The text again explains why the Parisian streets all look like this, and shows the difference between the small medieval streets and the newer boulevards. And towards the end of the book is a fold out picture of the Eiffel Tower, which will delight younger readers.
This is a charming book, not only for classrooms where French is taught, but also for anyone interested in this beautiful city, learning of the culture, language and sights as they tour with the young girl and her grandfather. A companion book, A walk in New York was published in 2012.
Fran Knight