Bronwyn Parry writes romantic thrillers, which normally wouldn’t be a genre that I would seek out, but another reviewer had enjoyed her latest, Sunset Shadows, so while on holiday I thought I would give it a try. We hope that through The Big Book Club readers will read outside of their comfort zone, and in my role it is something I do at times, and often I am pleasantly surprised. This was one of them.
Detective Sergeant Steve Fraser and Senior Constable Tess Ballard are thrown together looking into a cult in country New South Wales. Many deaths occur, including the enigmatic leader known as Joshua Kristos, and who is responsible is not known.
As Steve and Tess investigate the case their feelings for each other grow, despite their respective baggage. More people are killed and the need to find the killers ramps up as it becomes personal, to both Steve and Tess for different reasons.
This is an interesting look into cults, the hold they can have on people and their impact on adults and children. Rural policing is shown with all the pressure they are under in a crisis such as this, together with the romantic sub-plot. Parry shows her well-developed characters deal with loss, grief, guilt, manipulation and new situations. It reflects on the many ways that make a family, and what families sometimes do to each other.