My thanks to Viper Books for allowing me to join this blog tour for Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher published by Viper Books.
ONE DEAD-END POSTING. ONE DEAD BODY.
A TRAGIC ACCIDENT? THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK…
Constable Paul ‘Hirsch’ Hirschhausen is a whistle-blower. Formerly a promising metropolitan detective, now hated and despised, he’s been exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia’s wheatbelt. So when he heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire and finds himself cut off without backup, there are two possibilities. Either he’s found the fugitive killers thought to be in the area. Or his ‘backup’ is about to put a bullet in him.
He’s wrong on both counts. But Tiverton – with its stagnant economy, entrenched racism and rural isolation – has more crime than one constable can handle. And when the next call-out takes him to the body of a sixteen-year-old girl, it’s clear that whether or not Hirsch finds her killer, his past may well catch up with him.
Our Author : Gary Disher
Winner of the German Crime Prize, this new novel from Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Garry Disher is the gold standard for Australian noir.
Garry Disher has published fifty titles across multiple genres, and is best known as Australia’s King of Crime. He has won the Deutsche Krimi Preis three times, the Ned Kelly Award twice, and his novel The Sunken Road was nominated for the Booker. In 2018 he received the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award.
My Review: Bitter Wash Road
Constable Paul Hirschhausen – known to his friends as Hirsch, has been posted to Tiverton, a small dust track town, 3 hours from Adelaide. A one man police station, he’s been sent there after being involved in a whistle-blowing case against an old colleague, they are still trying to pin something on him, evidence went missing or wasn’t listed correctly, and no other cops now want to work with him.
To safeguard himself he has to stay one step ahead of even the ‘Internal Investigations Team’ and has taken meticulous notes, photos, recordings, and documentation to cover himself against charges, associated with the other officers involved in the case. He knows everyone doubts him and he can trust no one, everyone seems to have been paid off in some way and this gives him good groundings for what happens when the body of a young 16-year-old local girl is found.
Melia Donovan, local, not the sort of kid you wanted your own children to be friends with. A less than lack lustre home life, a mixed-up drunk other, a brother who couldn’t care less. She had no real school friends, she hung out with the older kids around town, the ones with did drugs and drank. Went to the next town over for a bit more social life. Who’d care if she went missing anyway?
The cops in the next town, Redruth have the worst reputation, they breathalyze everyone, give on the spot fines, scream in people’s faces for wasting police time when they get called out, beatings you name it they are guilty of it. And yet, they seem to be friends with the people that matter, the local magistrate and pub landlord, very different backgrounds, but both vital to learn information at times when needed and used accordingly. By wearing the police uniform they are using their power, to their own advantage regardless of who gets caught in the line of fire.
It seems like there’s more than Hirsch first thinks is going on, it’s not just the wielding of police power or brutality. Internal investigations are involved and they want to use him to get to the bottom of this. He seems like a pretty clean-cut guy, certainly not one to back down over his parents being threatened into being scared to tell the truth.
This book is brilliantly written, the scenery and red dust almost seems real. It covers many subjects including corruption, murder, sexism, and how cops who know the right people and tow the line get raised up through the ranks much quicker than those that don’t. Hirsch being a prime example. The story itself in extremely topical and written realistically, with details clearly researched to back up the plotline.
Viper have scooped a prize here in the shape of Garry Disher and though hes written plenty of books before Bitter Wash Road will send him places, not with dust track roads.
@GarryDisher @ViperBooks @mirandajewess #BitterWashRoad