The Great Divide
L M J Owen
Echo Publishing $29.99
In the rural Tasmanian town of Dunton, the body of a former headmistress of a children’s home is discovered, revealing a tortured life and death.
Detective Jake Hunter, newly-arrived, searches for her killer among past residents of the home. He unearths pain, secrets and broken adults. Pushing aside memories of his own treacherous past, Jake focuses all his energy on the investigation.
Why are some of the children untraceable? What caused such damage among the survivors?
The identity of the murderer seems hidden from Jake by Dunton’s fog of prejudice and lies, until he is forced to confront not only the town’s history but his own nature…
The start of an interesting series perhaps?
The beginning was a little slow for me, it took me a while to enter into this quiet secret filled landscape but then BOOM! L JM Owen does not hold back – there are deaths and mayhem and a twist that may surprise you. The item in the office (no spoilers here) must be the most sinister, gruesome trophy I have come across in all my reading of crime fiction.
Detective Jake Hunter is an interesting character and I feel there is more to him than has so far been revealed.
When you have finished reading this pay attention to the final pages. For me the most powerful part of this narrative is in the acknowledgements (p295); “This work is, in many ways, an acknowledgment of the experiences of children deemed by their adults as unworthy – of respect, of nurturing, of protection.
To you, I say: I see you. Hear you. You matter. And I am sorry; you deserved better.”
Thank you L J M Owen.