A small-town detective fights demons from his past as he scrambles to find a kidnapped child in this Australian import.
When a merchant witnesses a small boy being stuffed into the trunk of a car, Detective Bart Moy, the Guilderton Police Deptartment’s sole criminal investigator, takes the matter seriously. Even though his boss, Superintendent Graves, and nearly everyone else in the department believes Moy’s chasing a ghost, Bart refuses to discount the man’s story. Some of that dedication can be traced to his own experience—a terrible accident cost him his small son and his wife, Megan. After his previous life was laid to ruins, Bart moved back to Guilderton to take care of his ailing farmer father, George, and solve routine cases. But once the child’s stolen, strange things start happening. First, there’s the body of the woman discovered burned to a crisp in a government home; all the police know is that she’s a squatter. When Bart finally finds the child, whose name he determines is Patrick, he continues to work the case. Orr turns in a sensitive and sometimes-moving look at a man drowning in the sorrows of his past, with a prickly relationship with his father and with a child who desperately needs to trust someone; but as good as the writing may be, there will doubtless be problems with the American readership. Orr’s prose unleashes an avalanche of Australian terms that will make little sense to readers here—so many that often the story can seem unintelligible.
A sweetly told tale of fatherhood and loss, but American readers may have difficulty trying to deduce the meaning of a “footy club” and other expressions peculiar to Australia.