Full of madcap fun and nonstop action, this is a noir thriller done right…
Set against the backdrop of sparkling Sydney Harbour, Browne’s wickedly good noir thriller is marked with crisp prose, witty dialogue, and expert plotting. The law has finally caught up with the corporate fraudster Charley Campbell, but Detective Sergeant Mel Pavlovic is not satisfied with the imprisonment Charley got. She’s out for justice, and Charley’s socialite wife the gorgeous Fiona is on her radar. With a stranger visiting Fiona at odd hours, Mel is sure the fine lady is up to something. Mel’s suspicion turns out to be true after Fiona and her young lover disappear in the middle of the night. With nothing but a postcard from Samoa and her detective hunch, Mel must locate Fiona before a husband with nothing but revenge on his mind and a happening motorcycle gang get to her. Browne skillfully reveals money laundering, drug peddling, gang bustles, and other risky businesses as his flawlessly constructed plot unravels. He has a flair for dialogue and tight plotting. But his biggest strength lies in his characterization: a wide cast of characters—realtors, brokers, corporate criminals, notorious gang members, drug paddlers, cons and police detectives—keep the conspiracies rolling while indulging in occasionally sleazy and hilarious maneuvers. With his profound insights and thorough understanding of the contradictory impulses of human nature, Browne skillfully blends his characters’ cold ambition and lust for money with their acute sense of survival. The lovely Fiona, though more black than white, remains an interesting character. Mel, with her resilience and grit comes out as an endearing protagonist whose story is consistently engaging. Readers wouldn’t mind seeing more of her. The women are stronger than the men, be it Mel or Fiona whose relentless machinations bring the intricate plot together and lead to various chaos in the lives of the men in her life. The thugs in the book are a motley crew of people marked by a sense of self-preservation and greed, and their taxing schemes make for many hilarious situations in the plot. Australia’s most dangerously inept gang, The Flying Fux Motorcycle Club is a total riot. The humor is both clever and frequent, the violence lighthearted, and deceit, greed, lust, and treachery in abundance. It’s a stunning and fun ride that lovers of swiftly paced noir thrillers won’t want to miss.
By Michael G. Browne
Pub date July 4, 2020
Categories: Suspense and Thriller