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CRUCIFIXION CREEK by Barry Maitland Kirkus Star


by Barry Maitland

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-07214-6
Publisher: Minotaur

The creator of DS Kathy Kolla and DCI David Brock, those ornaments of the Met (The Raven’s Eye, 2013, etc.), goes Down Under to feature an even more hard-used cop.

What is it with suburban Bankstown, Australia? In rapid succession, Stefan Ganis, a former member of the Crows biker gang high on meth, shoots a hostage he’s taken and gets shot himself; a neighbor finds retired businessman Charlie Waterford and his wife, Grace, dead in a local restaurant; and builder Greg March gets stabbed to death. Greg’s brother-in-law, DS Harry Belltree of Sydney Homicide, at first avoids pesky Bankstown Chronicle reporter Kelly Pool but is much more attentive when she suggests that all these deaths are connected. After all, Harry’s been nursing his own conspiracy theories for three years, ever since a suspicious car accident killed his parents and blinded his wife, Jenny. So he’s the perfect audience for a theory that links this murderous new outbreak to the Crows, shady financier Alexander Kristich, Counsellor Joost Potgeiter, and Lord knows who else. But Harry’s not one to sit around theorizing. Wasting no time, he breaks into Kristich’s office. What he finds there profoundly changes his relation to the case—and the reader’s relation to Harry, who thereafter leads Jenny, Kelly, his Homicide partner, Deb Velasco, and Greg’s business associates on a wild ride seasoned with murder, corruption, and other outrages. Unlike the 12 cases Maitland set Kolla and Brock, this one expresses its moral complications through nonstop action.

First of a series. Though you’ll wonder early and often how Harry can possibly survive for any sequels, you’ll hope again and again to be proved wrong.