EXCERPT: Chandler could almost see Gabriel’s heart pound under his tee-shirt. The memories were flooding back, intense and uncontrolled. After a long breath that seemed to suck the last of the oxygen from the stifling room, he continued.
‘I aimed for the ridge. I glanced back and he was about ten metres behind me. I kept running and running until I stumbled on some loose soil and fell into a small clearing. The ground was all, dug up.’ Gabriel stared at him. ‘They were graves.’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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?
MY THOUGHTS: Gabriel? Heath? Gabriel? Heath? Gabriel and Heath? My mind was rather like a tumble dryer while I read this intense debut novel set in the outback of Western Australia.
Then there is the back story of Chandler and Mitchell cleverly interwoven, childhood friends, adult rivals – in more ways than one. Their rivalry puts more than the investigation in danger.
There is a lot going on in this book. But it is clearly written. And cleverly written. The tension is indescribable. The ending debatable.
‘What?!’ I yelled. ‘That can’t be the end. There’s got to be more pages.’ But there wasn’t. I kept thumbing the page turner on my Kindle, glaring at the 100% at the bottom of the page. I threw my arms in the air and stomped around the house. It changed nothing. There was no more.
But I hope there will be.
THE AUTHOR: James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland but lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi-rural England where he now lives.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Simon and Schuster (Australia) via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of 55 by James Delgardy for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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