16 February 2008

DEATH DELIGHTS, Gabrielle Lord

Does history repeat itself? Do patterns recur in families from one generation to the next? For forensic scientist Jack McCain, recently moved from Sydney to Canberra, it certainly seems to.

The disappearance of his daughter Jacinta two years ago after an argument with her mother seems to have a lot in common with the abduction of his little sister Rosie when he was a teenager.

As Jack becomes involved in the investigation of the grisly murders of two elderly paedophiles, the police at Kings Cross, Sydney, take an anonymous call from a woman who knows where Jacinta is. Jack blames ex-wife Genevieve for Jacinta leaving, and she him. A second anonymous call from the same woman claims that Jacinta is working in a brothel. Jack discovers both the murdered paedophiles had been released from gaol early, and yet another is due to be released within days. Will he also be in danger?

As the complexity of this novel escalates, with layer piled upon layer, you can't help wondering if Australian author Gabrielle Lord will manage to bring it all to a satisfactory resolution. I can report that she does, but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out how.

This is the first in the Jack McCain series, and regrettably I read them out of order. It is always a little disconcerting to know what happens in the second book in a series when you are reading the first, so take my advice, read DEATH DELIGHTS before you take on #2 DIRTY WEEKEND. DEATH DELIGHTS won the 2002 Ned Kelly Award for best novel.

My rating 4.7

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