Dark Edges by Catherine Lee

‘Jimmy Dallas was good at following instructions.’

Jimmy Dallas, an Australian Rugby League football player, is found dead from an apparent drug overdose.  The needle is still in his arm.  Is it an accidental overdose, murder or suicide?  Detective Sergeant Charlie Cooper and his partner Detective Senior Constable Joe Quinn are called in to investigate. Jimmy Dallas was the fullback for the Sydney Rangers team, a star performer in their last match, a win which guaranteed them a place in the finals. No one close to Jimmy thinks he’d use heroin, but everything points to a self-administered overdose.  Jimmy’s best friend is fellow Rangers player Joel Maquire.  Joel is devastated by Jimmy’s death.   Joel’s brother Nate is the team captain.  Can the Maguire brothers shed any light on events?

As part of their investigation, Cooper and Quinn look at drug use within the Rangers Club. The officials try to assure them that all is fair and above board.  ASADA has no adverse results from testing team members, and the team sports scientist Dean Rycroft assures them that the only supplements given to players are vitamins.  But Cooper and Quinn are not convinced, and when they find a connection between the heroin used by Jimmy and that supplied by the Chiefs outlaw motorcycle gang, things start to get complicated.

‘He had a bad feeling about this case.’

This is the fifth novel in Ms Lee’s Dark Series, and it is every bit as gripping as the first four. There are some interesting developments in Charlie Cooper’s personal life which add to the tension as Cooper and Quinn try to work out what happened to Jimmy Dallas.  There’s also some friction between different police officers involved in the case.  And the ending?  There are aspects that I didn’t anticipate, disquieting aspects that have served to keep aspects of this novel in my mind.

Note: my thanks to Ms Lee for providing me with a free advance reading copy of this novel for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith