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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2021
  • 9780645192506 B095WJ6XWB
  • 272 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2021
  • 9780648972785
  • 272 pages
  • $19.99
Stephen Brown
Author
The Square Up
sj brown, author
A gripping police procedural that tracks the investigation of a serial killer with a grudge against society. Another great instalment in sj brown's TasNoir 'whydunnit' series. Detective Inspector John Mahoney and his investigators in the Homicide Squad are faced with a murderer intent on squaring up with his victims in a highly idiosyncratic manner. Faced with theatrically staged crime scenes Mahoney must harness the insights of a renowned behavioural psycholgist as well as utilising the skills of the Forensic Services Squad to track and attempt to comprehend the mindset of the perpetrator. Mahoney is in a race against time to apprehend a murderous foe...and to save one of his own. 'sj brown's Mahoney series is a nugget of Tasmanian gold - tautly plotted with forensic detail - DI Mahoney himself is refreshingly realistic and down-to-earth, easy to spend time with.' Alan Carter-Ned Kelly and Ngaio Marsh Award Winner
Reviews
This fourth installment in Brown’s Detective Inspector Mahoney series follows DI John Mahoney and an extensive team of detectives and forensic investigators as they track down a possible serial killer linked to multiple murders in modern-day southern Tasmania. Alongside newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Kendall, and recently confirmed Detective Constable David Gibson, Mahoney quickly becomes immersed in the gruesome murder of a wealthy businessman, found bound and mutilated in a dark, symbolic manner. The investigation kickstarts a cat-and-mouse game with a vengeful killer who manages to stay one step ahead of Mahoney and his crew until an intense, unexpected finish.

Brown, who is native to the island, brings southern Tasmania to life with local color and destinations, notably Opossum Bay, the Derwent River, and Mount Wellington. The dialogue, especially amongst detectives, is authentic to the area and adds an element of immersive familiarity, inviting readers into the milieu: “‘Good on you and all that, getting into the Squad. Suits you,’ Herrick affirmed. ‘Not for me though, mate. Need to keep on the regular shifts for me footy.’”

The investigation drives the plot, of course, though Brown takes the time to offer insight into the hearts and minds of his investigators. A sleep deprived Mahoney, who had “read a bit about Hobbes and Locke without fully comprehending their ideas,” struggles with recurring dreams linked to his anxieties surrounding the case, while DS Kendall challenges misogynistic attitudes as she climbs the ranks in the male-dominated Serious Crimes Squad. New to the team, Gibson struggles with making the jump from patrol officer to detective while trying to prove his worth to the experienced Mahoney. The prologue and some other chapters are told from the killer’s point of view, which raises the stakes and adds an extra level of thrill to the case. Fans of crime thrillers and cozy mysteries alike will revel in this realistically complex police procedural.

Takeaway: A vivid, convincing Tasmanian police procedural boasting sharply characterized investigators.

Great for fans of: Garry Disher, Barry Maitland’s Crucifixion Creek, Candice Fox.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A+
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2021
  • 9780645192506 B095WJ6XWB
  • 272 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2021
  • 9780648972785
  • 272 pages
  • $19.99

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