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Hell To Pay

by Garry Disher

Hell To Pay by Garry Disher

Review: Tiverton is a one-cop farming community several hours north of Adelaide, and the town to which Constable Paul "Hirsch" Hirschhausen has been transferred after informing his superiors on episodes of murder and rape involving his fellow cops. Demoted and ostracized instead, internal affairs recommends he be reassigned while they investigate him. But news travels fast, and the three-man station headed up by Sergeant Kropp in Redruth, three kilometers from Tiverton and his back-up team, won't have anything to do with Hirsch. But he may need their help when the body of a 16-year-old girl is found in a gully along the side of the road, in Hell To Pay, a stand-alone crime novel published under the title of Bitter Wash Road in the author's native Australia.

Kropp insists the girl's death is an accidental hit-and-run, but Hirsch has his doubts. And then a woman commits suicide … or does she? Hirsch isn't convinced but he's getting no cooperation from Kropp and his men. Hirsh has only his conviction to guide him as he pursues an independent investigation into these two deaths.

The remote area that Hirsch patrols provides a stark and desolate backdrop to the crimes, frequently mirroring Hirsch's own sense of isolation. Hirsch comes across as a sympathetic character, and an engaging one for the reader, but all the other authoritative figures seem a bit unrealistic, drawn in a manner that is more stereotypical of the "dirty cops" one might see in films or on television. Still, the story is a compelling one and the multiple plot threads, none of which at first seem to have anything to do with the other — including Hirsch's exile from Adelaide — come together in a cleverly plotted manner. A solidly written mystery from one of Australia's leading crime novelists.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Hell To Pay.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Hell To Pay for this review.

Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Whispering Death by Garry DisherWhispering Death
Soho Crime (Hardcover), December 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951740; ISBN-10: 1616951745

Location(s) referenced in Hell To Pay: Australia

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Hell To Pay by Garry Disher

Hell To Pay by

Publisher: Soho Crime
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-61695-395-9
Publication Date:
List Price: $26.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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