4 July 2022

Review: THE WATERHOLE, Lily Malone

  • this edition from Amazon on Kindle
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K6C8DZF
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lily Malone Publishing (21 November 2021)
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 322 pages

Synopsis (Amazon)

Australian author Lily Malone debuts in a darker genre with this small-town mystery/suspense novel. Perfect for readers who love Jane Harper's The Dry.

When a backyard dare to discover the source of a fabled waterhole uncovers human bones, small town detective, Marley West, leaps at the chance to kickstart his stalled career. But it’s more than two decades since developers filled the Cowaramup creek. The woman who owned the land—the Ross family matriarch—has passed away. Relations between her sons, Jack and Bill, are colder than the case.

Then the Ross family learn Marley is the grandson of notorious police sergeant, Alan West, the corrupt cop who once ruled the town with an iron fist.
To solve the case, Marley must gain the trust of three people with no reason to trust each other and less reason to trust him: Bill, who left the love of his life to fight in Vietnam; charismatic Jack, who could always catch the eye of a pretty girl; and city school teacher, Annette, whose move to Cowaramup in 1966 would change the Ross brothers’ lives forever.
As he navigates a tangled web of lies and betrayals, jealousies and murder, Marley has to ask himself: are these bones better left buried? 

My Take

The narrative skilfully shifts between several time frames which I found challenging at first, eventually managed to get it sorted. It begins with the discovery of some bones in an area being established as a new housing subdivision. We meet the police Constable Brigit Winger and Detective Marley West from Busselton Police Station as they travel to the site to view the bones. Marley takes one look and he knows they have a problem.

Eventually they work out that they have two skeletons, one probably much older than the other. The bodies lie where there was once a waterhole, covered in over 20 years before. Some of the story goes back almost 50 years.

The author has done an excellent job of creating characters, developing credible plot lines, and finally revealing the story on several levels. A very engrossing read.

My rating: 4.7

About the Author
Lily Malone might have been a painter, except her year-old son put a golf club through her canvas. So she wrote her first book instead. Lily is the author of the best-selling Australian rural romance series, The Chalk Hill Series, set in the great southern wine region of Western Australia. In 2018 she took the coveted No.1 place in the Amazon Australia Kindle store with her best-selling romance, The Vineyard in the Hills. When she isn't writing, Lily likes gardening, bushwalking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine). She loves playing cards and fishing by boat or on the beach. She lives in the Margaret River region of Western Australia with her husband and two handsome sons who take after their father. Lily is a member of Australian and New Zealand Rural Fiction and Australian Fiction Authors. She loves to hear from readers and you can find her on Facebook, and on Twitter: @lily_lilymalone. To contact Lily, email lilymalone@mail.com or visit www.lilymalone.blog

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