- format: kindle (Amazon)
- File Size: 689 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Publisher: Text Publishing (September 23, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 23, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00LZ1U6IY
- Source: I bought it
- #1 in the Bell Tree Trilogy
Homicide detective Harry Belltree wouldn't usually be looking too hard at an elderly couple's suicide pact. Especially now, when his brother-in-law Greg has just been stabbed to death. But it seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a bent moneylender with friends in high places - and low.
Harry can't get officially involved in Greg's murder, but he suspects a link with two other mysterious deaths: his parents'. And when he goes off-grid to investigate, that's when things start to get dangerous
Set in Sydney, this dark, morally ambiguous and adrenaline-charged new series is a triumphant change of direction for Barry Maitland.
Readers may be familiar with Maitland's Brock and Kolla series set in London. He has also dabbled with the stand-alones set in Australia. So this trilogy is quite a new direction for him.
Harry Belltree is the son of a prominent solicitor who killed three years earlier in the same road crash that left his wife Jenny blind. Harry is an ex SAS soldier with experience in Afghanistan. He doesn't reject using violence if he thinks it is necessary. He and his wife Jenny, a computer expert, make a formidable investigative team even though she is blind.
So Harry doesn't always play by the rules, and that tendency combined with corruption in high places in New South Wales, links between bikies and a loan shark, and between them and politicians, makes for a very noir novel, darker than others I have read by Maitland. The cover also tells us that this is the first in a trilogy, so there is more to look forward to.
Very very readable.
My rating: 4.7
I've also read
4.7, DARK MIRROR - #10
4.8, CHELSEA MANSIONS - #11
4.7, THE RAVEN'S EYE - #12
About the author
Barry Maitland was born in Scotland, studied architecture at Cambridge University and went on to work as an architect and urban design expert. In 1984 he moved to Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. In 1994 The Marx Sisters, the first in his Brock and Kolla crime series, was published. Barry now writes fiction full time. He is published throughout the English-speaking world and in translation in a number of other countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Japan. He lives in the Hunter Valley.