Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh

Here is what the QBD crew thought…

Blood River is the latest stand-alone crime novel by writer, screenwriter and film and television producer Tony Cavanaugh. Pursuant to his other series featuring Darian Richards, it features similar themes such as women in policing and questionable decisions made by the justice system.

It is the late 1990’s and a string of grisly murders have been committed in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens. Three wealthy men have been discovered slain and decapitated, with a symbol carved into their flesh.  Investigating the crimes are Lara and Billy – a mismatched pair of investigators; the former a rookie homicide detective, and the latter an experienced veteran with a fierce reputation.

The killer, nicknamed The Slayer, goes on to continue the spree for three more weeks. When a tip comes in pointing them at teenage rebel Jennifer White as the main suspect, Lara is conflicted by the decision to charge her with the crimes. There’s just something there that doesn’t add up.

Twenty years later the killer nicknamed The Slayer is about to be paroled, despite public outrage and the wails of the victim’s widows. Will the killings start again? Or was Lara right all along? We’ll leave you to read the book and discover the answer on your own.

Blood River is a gritty crime thriller with plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing right up until the very end. The narrative jumps between each individual’s perspective and the past and present which is a little jarring until you get used to it. Thankfully the narrative is quite gripping and this helps keep your interest.

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