30 January 2023

Review: DAUGHTERS OF EVE, Nina. D. Campbell

  • This edition made available as an e-book by my local library through Libby
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Allen & Unwin; 1st edition (29 March 2022)
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1761065386
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1761065385 

Synopsis (Amazon)

When a high-profile murder lands literally at her feet, Detective Emilia Hart sees a chance to expand her caseload beyond the endless succession of domestic violence matters she is forced to investigate. But this is no simple investigation.

Another body turns up, then another. Then more - a lot more. All men, all shot, with a similar MO. It's not until a manifesto taking credit for the crimes is published by a group calling themselves Daughters of Eve that Hart confirms a link between the victims: all of them had been perpetrators themselves. All had offended against women or children. Few had been charged with those crimes - and none convicted.

As panic sets in and chaos rules the streets, the police draw ever closer to the Daughters of Eve, but the serial killer continues to elude them. Again, Hart sees something that everyone else has missed. And what that is, she cannot believe.

A stunning debut that will take you to the edge and dare you to look down. 

My Take

Detective Emilia Hart is leaving court after a stressful day when the barrister crossing the road alongside her drops dead, shot by a sniper. As the bodies pile up in the next few days, Hart discovers common threads, bringing to a male dominated police investigation a female intuition that makes connections that the men just don't see. 

The case begins in Sydney but similar cases begin to turn up, first in Melbourne, then in other capital cities, and even in regional ones. As the body count mounts, a national task force is created, men take to the streets, and the government puts soldiers on the streets.

At first I enjoyed this novel, but then new layers were added to the plot, and there were just too many eggs in the basket, too many balls in the air, and there was only one way this tale could end, and even that had a twist in the tail.

Underneath the crime fiction, this story has a socio-political agenda. It points out to the reader the level of domestic violence in our communities, and the need for the sort of government action that would happen if it was actually the case of a single serial killer in action. 

I'm sure this will be a popular novel, certainly a memorable one, raising issues that are already recognised by quite a number of community programmes, but ones that do not appear to be having as much effect as they should at the local, largely hidden, level, despite the lip service and financial backing that they seem to get.

My rating: 4.3

About the Author
Nina D. Campbell studied theatre and literature at university before stumbling into the world of work in the midst of the recession that we had to have. She cobbled together a respectable career as a professional writer, working across the community and public sectors, before a midlife health challenge changed her priorities. Nina now writes fiction full-time, with a focus on stories about strong women. Together with her partner and their spirited Jack Russell Terrier, she lives in South Australia, close to world class wine regions, sparkling beaches and other tempting delights.

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