Friday, February 20, 2015

Hell to Pay by Garry Disher

First Sentence:  On a Monday morning in September, three weeks into the job, the Tiverton policeman took a call from his sergeant:  shots fired on Bitter Wash Road.
Paul Hirschhausen (“Hirsch”) has been demoted to Constable, and sent to
back-of-beyond Australia where he’s mistrusted and berated by his “fellow” officers.  Internal Investigations in Adelaide is still after him, trying to convict him of something and willing to plant evidence to do it.  In the meantime, even in his remote locate, there are crimes to be solved, including the body of a 16-year-old girl found by the side of the road.
If one ever read Rhys Bowen’s “Hamish Macbeth” series, Hirsch’s posting will remind one of that.  However, that is the only similarity.  Disher takes us about as far as possible from Hamish’s Scotland, down to Southern Australia, but acquaints us with the area with wonderfully visual descriptions…”October gathered its skirts and raced past.”
Disher provides very good back story on Hirsch.  The inclusion of his inquest was both interesting, but allows for his speculation as to why some cops go bad.  We also see the frustration of a god cop working for, and with, bad cops; the blindness of “the thin blue line, and how corrupting that can be.  On the other hand, it is interesting to see the diversity of calls to which a rural cop must respond and the relationship he must maintain with the community.
Disher does a wonderful job building up the suspense and tension.  One can’t help but appreciate the source from which Hirsch’s rescue comes.
Hell toPay” is an excellent read; an extremely well-written book dealing with very timely issues.

HELL TO PAY (Pol Proc – Const. Paul Hirschhausen-Adelaide, Australia-Contemp) - Ex
Disher, Garry – Standalone
Soho Crime – June, 2014

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