18 September 2021

Review: THE LONG GAME, Simon Rowell

Synopsis (Text Publishing)

A summer of relentless heat. A local surfer named Ray Carlson is found dead in a house not far from Portsea back beach. There’s a kitchen knife deep in his chest, and blood everywhere.

Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer is scarcely back from extended leave, and still wrestling with her demons, but she is assigned the case—alongside her new service dog, Harry, whose instincts help her in unexpected ways.

There’s an obvious suspect for the murder, and Zoe makes an arrest. But it’s all too neat, and none of Zoe’s colleagues believes her theory that the whole thing is a stitch-up.

Except now someone is trying to hunt Zoe down.

Superbly plotted, and vividly set in the beachside suburbs and hilly retreats around Melbourne, The Long Game is a mystery about a tough and clever investigator who won’t give up.

My take

An intriguing read from a new-to-me Australian author. 

We know that Zoe Mayer, Victoria Police, has come back from extended leave after being involved in a traumatic incident. Via flashbacks we eventually learn what happened then, something that put Zoe on the front page of every newspaper in Australia, if not the world.

Zoe is meant to be easing herself back into work, but when you investigate violent murders, that isn't really possible. It is Zoe who sees the similarities between the Ray Carlson case and earlier cases, but her colleagues take a lot of persuading, even those who work closest to her.

But then the person whom she identifies as the link between the cases, turns, and Zoe herself is in danger.

My rating: 4.5

About the author
Simon Rowell has worked on outback oil rigs, managed nightclubs, been a tour guide and run marketing campaigns. His first book, THE ECHO OF OTHERS, was longlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards for Best First Crime in 2018. He lives with his wife, Karen, in rural Victoria on a farm full of rescued animals.

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