Simon and Schuster
*** There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55? ***
A thriller with a killer hook, and an ending that will make you gasp!
Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.
All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.
He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.
Heath is a serial killer.
As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.
Gabriel is the serial killer.
Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?
James Delargy has written one of the most exciting debuts of 2019. He masterfully paints the picture of a remote Western Australian town and its people, swallowed whole by the hunt for a serial killer. This novel has been sold in 19 countries so far and has just been optioned for film.
I don’t think I have come across a book of crime fiction that has such an interesting theme; suspect or victims, two identical stories. Who is telling the truth?
This is a story of family, of connections, of missing people, of the past and how it can shape our future and of course, crime. With a dual time line, we follow the fate of two rookie policeman searching the remote countryside for a missing person. We learn of their individual characters, their empathies, their aspirations as we join the search for the missing man. The terrain, the isolated, hostile, unforgiving countryside is the largest character in this work. It has a huge impact on all that happens in this narrative. Don’t underestimate its power.
In the current time we again follow the two same cops as they again deal with a missing person – the circumstances are so different, foreboding colouring the search, the echoes of the past never far away, the landscape still just as harsh, still unforgiving and hiding many secrets.
This is an intriguing read however the ending did not bring me any satisfaction; ending on a cliff hanger, so much action and tension in the last few chapters, I wanted more. Perhaps there is a part two to come?