Unlike the last contemporary romantic suspense I tried to read, this book was very enjoyable and, hopefully, a better example of the genre.
I must say I was a little worried at the start. The idea of Sydney police detective going undercover to catch a serial killer in Tasmania seemed far fetched, to say the least. The opening info dump about the case too, was weird. But then, somehow, about a third of the way into the book, everything seemed much more realistic and I became thoroughly hooked.
Indy, our heroine (the detective), goes to Tasmania where several women have disappeared and one’s body has washed up in a river near Calico MountainLodge, a farm/holiday retreat. Indy gains employment at the lodge where she meets Logan Atherton, the Tasmanian police’s prime suspect.
Here the story switches to almost rural romance, with Logan showing Indy the ropes with caring for horses and animals etc. I will admit I’m not a huge fan of Australian chooklit but Barrie adds just the right touch of rural into her romance and I remained enthralled. In fact, I love how Barrie never lets the romance get completely sappy and there’s always the sinister undercurrent of tension and doubt as to whether or not Logan is guilty of the kidnapping and murders throughout.
With the Tasmanian setting, Barrie not only got to add picturesque details but also my favourite thing when it comes to thriller books - isolation. She was also able to add a plethora of small town supporting characters, any of whom could be involved in the crime.
I must say that I had absolutely no idea who was involved in the women’s disappearances. Nor did I ever work out why the women were going missing. The resolution was believable enough and very original and I would have never guessed it in a million years.
I listened to the audio version and I must admit, at first, I was unsure if I would enjoy the narrator’s interpretation but, as I said, I really started to get into the book around the third mark, so perhaps I just needed to get used to her style.
My only complaint would be that the book was maybe too long. That is, Barrie continued for several chapters after the case was solved. I thought it seemed, at times, unnecessary and the ending almost dragged much more than it should have. This is only a minor gripe though.
I’ll definitely be picking up some of Barrie’s other books including Devil’s Lair which, I believe, again features Calico Lodge.