The Long Game by Simon Rowell

To be published 3/8/2021

 ‘It was time.’

One hot day in February, a local surfer named Ray Carlson is found dead in a house near Portsea on the coast in the Port Phillip area of Victoria. He has been murdered. The case is allocated to Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer and her partner Charlie Shaw. Zoe Mayer has recently returned to work after a period of extended leave, and is accompanied by her service dog, a golden retriever named Harry.

While there is not a lot of evidence at the scene, there is enough information quickly available to point to a suspect who is duly arrested. But Zoe is not convinced. Is she right?

I could not put this novel down. It takes a while for Zoe’s backstory to unfold, and while it does the reader cannot really be sure about her instincts. Is this murder linked to other cases? And if it is, how and why? Can Zoe overcome the panic attacks she is still prone to? The tension is maintained throughout the novel: Zoe investigates on instinct, taking risks because time is critical and because she feels she needs to prove herself. She also runs into resistance from other police officers with vested interests in other cases. There are plenty of twists in this tale before what was, for me, a satisfying conclusion

I found Zoe a well-developed, multi-dimensional character and I really hope that this is the beginning of a new series featuring Zoe and Harry.

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