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Crucifixion Creek: The Belltree Trilogy, Book One Kindle Edition
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"Nail-biting." - Publishers Weekly
"Though you'll wonder early and often how Harry can possibly survive for any sequels, you'll hope again and again to be proved wrong." - Kirkus Review (starred review)
"Takes off at a frantic gallop towards a heart-thumping finale that promises only a brief respite. Be prepared to stay up late." - Sydney Morning Herald
"Absolutely top-shelf. Get it, read it, don't put it down." - Crime Factory
"A Brilliant opening salvo... it was hard to suppress a certain sense of disappointment that there's only going to be 2 more." - AustCrime
"Disturbing and delicious." - Richmond Times-Dispatch--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00LZ1U6IY
- Publisher : Text Publishing; UK ed. edition (23 September 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 690 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 260 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 73,067 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The main character is Harry Belltrees, a homicide detective in Sydney and the son apparently of the first Aboriginal judge of the Supreme Court. Harry is a war veteran and this has hardened him. His parents are dead and his wife has lost her sight. So he has some reasons for being a bit rough around the edges. However when a murder occurs close to home, he crosses the line and starts working against the police to impose his own justice.
The book is quite violent in places, and yet it left me rather cold. The violence in the Brock and Kolla series, when it happened, had much more of an emotional punch. Harry seems a cypher, I never quite understood him. The characters of his wife and a determined journalist who helps him are much more interesting.
Terrific start to a trilogy!
Detective Harry Belltree has never reconciled with the generally accepted fact that the cause of his parents' death three years previously was an accident.
When the car they were driving left the highway and plunged through the barrier into the bush, both of his parents were killed, and Harry's wife Jenny who was also a passenger in the back seat of the car at the time, suffered injuries which have left her blind.
Harry is consumed with the idea that their accident was in fact not an accident. He is convinced that someone pushed their car off the road deliberately and that the white paint scrapings on their car prove it.
However he can't convince his superiors to investigate further and they have told him to leave it alone...which he can't.
So when sudden deaths and accidents start to occur among residents and acquaintances of a place called Crucifixion Creek, one young and zealous journalist for the Bankstown Chronicle, Kelly Pool, sees some connections forming.
Crucifixion Creek is home to businesses such as (ironically) the building business and office of Harry's brother-in-law Greg. There is a well known Bikie group living with their family's in a compound there, and then there are the long term, mostly elderly residents.
Recently a local Councillor has had reason to cite it as a possible site for a memorial to its (rather questionable) indigenous history...the mere suggestion of which raises Kelly's eyebrows in suspicion.
Kelly Pool starts digging around and decides that there is some connection with events at Crucifixion Creek and detective Harry Belltree, and she wants to find out what they are.
Harry also believes there is a connection but wants nothing to do with Kelly...that is until they are forced by circumstances to meet and compare notes.
Wow, so much going on in this story with many different threads, are they all leading to the same place? It's hard to conceive how they might, and yet things gradually start to come together...very cleverly!
This first book in The Belltree Trilogy is fast paced and action packed, with a bit of everything that you would expect to find in a...somewhat rogue...cop's life.
It has just enough cringeworthy shock value to keep you wanting to find out more.
I was fully absorbed in this book and am quite eager now to read the second book called Ash Island: The Belltree Trilogy, Book Two, if it is anything like this one it will be another great addition to this trilogy.
*Also pleased to read a book that is set in my own hometown and surrounds, this lent an air of credibility to the story as certain similar dramas have been known to play out from time to time.
Great read and highly recommended for lovers of crime fiction, 5★s
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my electronic copy to read and review.
Top reviews from other countries
Aber zumindest für mich ist dadurch auch recht wenig übrig geblieben, was mich an eine der handelnden Personen binden könnte. Belltree ist - wieder einmal - ein Cop mit privaten Problemen. Seine Eltern sind bei einem Unfall ums Leben gekommen, seine Frau ist dabei erblindet. Er glaubt nicht an einen Unfall und folgt seither allen erdenklichen Spuren. Feinerweise bietet sich ihm ein Kriminal- und Korruptionsfall rund um Grundstücksentwickler, eine Motorradgang und einen Kinderschmuggelring, der auch in die unmittelbare Umgebung von Belltree zu reichen scheint. Passenderweise ist seine Frau trotz Blindheit ein Computergenie, das selbstverständlich in alle nur erdenkbaren Sicherheitssysteme von ihrem kleinen privaten PC aus eindringen und diese manipulieren kann. Wenn immer ich so etwas lese, schaltet sich bei mir leider der "Bullshit"-detector ein und verdirbt mir gehörig den Spaß am Lesen.
Ebenso sind die Entscheidungen, die Belltree im Rahmen der Ermittlungen trifft und die ihn nicht wesentlich von den Leuten unterscheiden, auf die er Jagd macht, aus dem Buch heraus nicht begründet und geben somit das Bild eines Mannes wieder, der bewusst mit massivem Gesetzesbruch und dem Tod von Menschen kalkuliert. Dabei scheint er sich nicht einmal die Mühe einer Rechtfertigung zu geben, sondern die Entscheidung zur Gewalt ist eben so wie sie ist.
Verglichen mit den - in sich auch durchaus unterschiedlichen - Romanen rund um Brock und Kolla mit ihrem Beziehungsgeflecht, der persönlichen Weiterentwicklung der Charaktere und nicht zuletzt ihrer gelungenen Mischung aus Whodunit und Darstellung zutiefst britischer Lebensart, habe ich diesen Roman als herbe Enttäuschung empfunden.
This is the first of a new series (trilogy) of crime novels starring Harry Belltree, a NSW police detective. Harry’s background is colourful. He is Aboriginal, his father was Sydney’s first Aboriginal judge, and Harry himself served in Afghanistan as a Special Forces soldier. Since leaving the Army and joining the Police Harry’s wife, Jenny, a brilliant computer hacker, lost her eyesight in a motor vehicle accident that also killed Harry’s parents. Harry is convinced the MVA was no accident and he is determined to find out why and who deliberately ran the car off the road.
Harry has ambiguous morals and is one-eyed when it comes to finding out the truth. He will go outside the rules if need be to do this.
Crucifixion Creek is, in this novel, an area of land in a western Sydney suburb that has a dark past. It was the scene of a massacre of Aboriginal people in the early colony days and, since then, has been the setting for other murders. the latest is that of Harry’s brother-in-law.
As Harry investigates and sometimes oversteps police procedures to get a reaction he starts to draw links between the MVA that killed his parents, a bikie gang, and the business his murdered brother-in-law ran. A journalist with the local paper, Kelly Pool, and Harry’s wife Jenny, still very skilful at computer hacking despite her blindness, become deeply involved in assisting Harry, often in ways well outside of legality.
This is a fast-paced, page-turning novel. The ending has left me wanting to read Book Two in the series ASAP!
Unputdownable book! The action never let up. Being set in Sydney was a bonus because I could visualise many of the places mentioned. As soon as I finished this book I bought the remaining two in the trilogy.
One of which is finding out the truth about the car accident that killed his parents and blinded his wife. As is his off-the-record investigation into the murder of his brother-in-law. There are complicated connections peppered throughout CRUCIFIXION CREEK - both in Belltree's family and his partnerships in the force; in the way that journalist Kelly Pool is pulled into the story; in the connections between people living in the same street as the outlaw-bikie headquarters at the centre of much of the activity; and the bikies themselves. From the past, into the present and it's not hard to imagine, Belltree's future.
Comparisons between this first Belltree book and Maitland's other main series are inevitable. Both police procedurals, both with strong main characters, Belltree and Kolla are similar in personality type, although he takes to the lone hand part much earlier in the piece than Kolla ever did. There is also something more edgy and darker in this book than ever was in the earlier series. Overall Maitland's pulled off a favourite of this reader - developing a morally ambiguous character who is also very likeable, whilst tackling a lot of current day real-life Australian issues head on. There's also something sneakily Australian about the investigation style - whilst the Brock & Kolla series is ordered, procedural, detailed and cautious (fitting perfectly with Brock's personality in particular), in CRUCIFIXION CREEK, Belltree is anything but. From the poke a stick into an ant's nest school of investigation, Belltree's methods are effective, if you don't mind a bit of fallout, and as a result somehow endearingly Australian. Matter of fact, not afraid to stir things up a bit, less interested in the procedure than the outcome, Belltree's not a typical cop, but not an ineffectual or unexpected cop at the same time. He also has a life outside the force, and the interactions and his care and concern for his blinded wife is nicely balanced by friendships, and niggles within families.
CRUCIFIXION CREEK is a brilliant opening salvo in the trilogy, and it will be interesting to see how Maitland develops this character, and his ongoing use of place. Is it a bad thing, that at the end of book one, it was hard to suppress a certain sense of disappointment that there's only going to be 2 more?