Consolation by Garry Disher

‘I’m concerned for someone’s welfare.’

Constable Paul Hirschhausen (Hirsch) was posted to the one-man police station at Tiverton in the small South Australia eighteen months ago.  Tiverton may be a small town, but he is busy.  First, there is a snowdropper at work, stealing elderly women’s underwear from their clotheslines.  Hirsch is not taking this lightly, but suddenly there are a few other issues to deal with.  A teacher from the high school ‘phones him: she’s worried about the welfare of a home-schooled student.  Things are about to get even busier for Hirsch: his sergeant must take leave suddenly, and he needs to take on her job as well.  And then he is called urgently to the Tiverton Primary School:

‘I need you to get here straight away.  A parent’s going mental.’

This is just the beginning.  A child in danger, another family under pressure.  And there are some concerning rumours doing the rounds about one of the local pillars of the community.  An elderly woman dies: was it an accident or could it have been murder?

I was drawn into this novel and could not put it down.  Mr Disher brings his characters to life with their concerns and frustrations, added in a few complications which kept me guessing, and has me wanting to read the first two novels in this series immediately.

There are several different threads in this action-packed novel, and Mr Disher manages to bring them all together by the end of the story. Highly recommended.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Text Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith