As a fan of crime fiction I enjoyed this book. I especially liked the simple, direct writing and short sentences. I also appreciated the authenticity of the content, as the author is an active police officer. The plot drew me in, and it gathers pace with many twists and turns along the way. It is quite a plot. Set in an Australian outback town, this novel deals with paedophilia. It also deals with the effects of trauma and family secrets, on individuals and the small community. This includes the main character Sammi being office bound after a previous narrow escape by a serial killer whilst on duty. However Sammi is drawn back into active duty as the plot unfurls.
Rumour has it in the town of Angel Crossing that `Pete the Ped’ is at it again. There had been insufficient evidence to charge him fourteen years ago, when he was accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl. Now an anonymous letter has been left at the Crossing police station pointing the finger at Peter Woodford and demanding justice. Sammi finds the letter and is soon on the trail, both uncovering the dark past and it’s repercussions. When a body is found hanging it is at first thought to be Peter’s suicide. However things are not as they seem, and the twisted knot is also a metaphor for dark secrets and revenge.
There are also sub plots within the narrative, including the back-story of Sammi’s trauma, and its effect on her professional and personal life, including with her partner Gavin. Gavin is also interested in becoming a copper, and this creates friction in their relationship. There is also the theme of the inadequacies of the criminal justice system in relation to child sex offences. The author’s professional experience clearly informs her writing on this topic, including her knowledge and passion. It makes for a lively and well-informed read. It is also refreshing to read an Australian crime novel, complete with our vernacular. Due to its subject matter, this is a book to not only be enjoyed by readers of crime fiction.