13 December 2016


  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Published by CUSTOM BOOK PUBLICATIONS (April 21, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 21, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00WH96NX0
Synopsis (Amazon)

Skyla Merrick is always in some kind of trouble …

In disgrace and suspended, the Cornish-born detective witnesses the first of the bizarre deaths while visiting Arthurs Bay, a coastal fishing village with bigger ideas. The director of a local climate change research facility, Edwina Ling, is number one.
Skyla relishes the opportunity to restore her fortunes but false evidence and her personal demons deceive her and she chases the wrong suspect.
Then there is another, and then another death …
Her one-time lover helps resolve her confusion and assists her pursuit of the murderer with renewed clarity. Colleagues quietly follow their own investigations and pursue the money trail. And then there is the confrontation between the developers and conservationists …

When Skyla and local police officer Hugh Fitzpatrick bring their work together, she sees the solution.

But can she catch the killer?

My Take

The setting of this story is the southern coast of Australia, somewhere in Victoria, a fictitious fishing village called Arthurs Bay where a climate change research facility is located. The Southern Institute of Marine Exploration (SIME) is hosting a convention on climate change and a controversial paper which disputes the impact of climate change on local fish stock is to be presented.

On the eve of the presentation of this paper the director of the institute, Edwina Ling, is murdered and suspended detective Skyla Merrick is one of those present at her death. Skyla is reinstated to her rank of detective and is put in charge of the investigation into the murder. Skyla brings with her a whole lot of emotional baggage which impacts on her ability to conduct an investigation.

There are a lot of local issues running in the background, disputes between fishermen and organic vegetable growers, an impending Food Festival, long standing local rivalries, to cite a few. Essentially the fishermen dispute the findings of the research paper, saying that not only are fish stocks dwindling, but that the type of fish now in the area has changed, and that that change is due to the impact of global warming.

Published in 2015, the book focusses on some pretty topical issues, especially in the light of political opinion, both local and international, that climate change is much overrated, and that global warming is unproven.

The novel is carefully plotted, but perhaps an attempt was made to cover too many "issues", and that resulted in quite a number of plot threads, and inevitable red herrings. In the long run, there were just too many strings running off the main plot. and it felt rather as if the author was becoming bogged down in complexity in a desperate attempt to come to a resolution. I also found the number of characters a bit distracting.

Nevertheless an interesting read.

My rating: 3.5

About the author

David Kilner was born in London and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where he lives with his wife, Pauline, and two Maltese Shih-Tzu crosses. With the help of the dogs, they raised two daughters. Now retired, he spent most of his career in the social welfare sector where he became expert at writing social welfare policy and was awarded a Doctorate for his work on social housing. These days he enjoys volunteering with community organisations and writing local history studies. Many of his non-fiction works have been published, both in social welfare and in history. He began writing crime fiction several years ago and has previously published two short stories with Detective Sergeant Skyla Merrick in the lead.

1 comment:

Jane Risdon said...

Not heard of this writer before, thanks for the review. I shall keep an eye out for his work.


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