Give the Devil His Due
Rowland Sinclair #7
The 7th book in the award-winning Australian historical crime fiction Rowland Sinclair Mystery Series
When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve.
But then people start to die.
The body of a journalist covering the race is found in a House of Horrors, an English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations is killed on the race track, and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights.
A strange young reporter preoccupied with black magic, a mysterious vagabond, an up-and-coming actor by the name of Flynn, and ruthless bookmakers all add mayhem to the mix.
With danger presenting at every turn, and the brakes long since disengaged, Rowland Sinclair hurtles towards disaster with an artist, a poet and brazen sculptress along for the ride.
The sub-genre historical crime fiction is more than the re-imagining of an incident set in the past; when executed skilfully it is engaging, thought provoking and shares the authors passion for the era and their understanding of the society and culture of that period. Sulari Gentill’s passion for this era is obvious on every page. The tone, style and colour of this narrative paints an evocative and very visual account of Australian society in the 1930’s. I love reading crime fiction based in this period – the time frame is far enough removed from my life that I have no firsthand knowledge of the time yet the period is still relevant and interesting and accessible. Records still exist from that time frame: news reels, documentaries, oral histories, films, art, fashion, music etc. that allows us a glimpse of the past, it is the context, the social fabric, the political views and the mystery that this talented author weaves into the narrative that makes this work so engaging.
And did I mention great characters? I particularly enjoyed reading about Ed – Edna Higgins; a creative, talented, generous and strong individual who does not conform to societal pressures that inform how a 1930’s woman should be; she is herself.
A great read.
So happy you liked this so much, Carol. Isn’t Sulari talented? I really like this series, and I recommend it highly.
A great read Margot – and I will be trying to read the rest of the series – from the start when I can. Sulari is also going to be at next year Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival – what a treat!
We missed the most recent episode of the (U.S.) FX channel crime drama, “Fargo”, because of some lovely bumper to bumper big city rainstorm driving. Though worn out, I was never-the-less up late working (The Child Bride calls it “playing on that &%@* computer”) and caught up with the DVR. The crime story is set in 1979 Minnesota and North Dakota and is quite dramatic and very bloody. But the clothes and cars are correct to the time and the police characters are stuck with the 70’s technology. Without giving away the age of The Child Bride, I was a young cop back in those days and can relate to full size police cars and revolving “bubble gum” lights atop them. No fancy 15 round semi-auto pistols, tasers, portable radios or smart phones. And I can remember how amazed I was the first time I saw a mug shot come in over a fax machine. The scriptwriters lose all the contemporary whiz bang computer and techno gimmicks so useful for plot twists. And when a lone cop confronts several EALLY bad guys in one scene I don’t know if other viewers could feel the same chills that ran up my spine realizing he truly was alone and had only the wits between his ears to survive. Been there, done that.
Must have been a different world of policing then Mike…how long were you in the force?
36 years total with 3 different agencies. A large cache of stories to tell. The first book (SINK RATE) had to be re-written to update the technology used by the cops and bad guys. It took almost 20 years to actually finish it but it sat unattended for some time until I retired. I try not to rely on the whiz bang techno stuff in my crime fiction though. In my actual cases it sometimes helped but the best weapon a detective has is that wit between the ears.
That’s a lot of stories Mike
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