For Reasons of Their Own by Chris Stuart
For Reasons of their Own is a thrilling debut novel that announces a major new writing talent to the world.
Melbourne is wilting under a heatwave, and Detective Inspector Robbie Gray is working undercover at the International Disaster Conference, frustrated to be stuck on what she perceives to be a babysitting job after a recent internal investigation has left her feeling bruised by police bureaucracy.
But things get more interesting when Robbie is called to investigate when a body is found lying in a rural swamp, north of Melbourne, with a team that includes Mac, a police officer who has also found himself up against a disciplinary matter. Robbie and Mac quickly discover that they work well together, that they have similar values when it comes to their search for the truth.
They begin investigating what is clearly foul play. But when the nationality of the victim is confirmed, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation takes over the case, and Robbie and her team are sidelined. But Robbie is convinced that the conclusions the ASIO have come to are wrong and that they are manipulating evidence for their own purposes. Robbie and Mac go back and look at the evidence and dig further to find the truth. What they discover is a case that exposes corruption in the humanitarian world and transcends international borders.
This is a page-turning, fascinating read, with well-drawn characters and an intelligent plotline that will have you thinking about many issues, including whether the past can ever really be left behind, and the idea of what it means to be safe. There are also many more elements and characters in this book that can’t be successfully covered in a book review, that are equally as compelling.
This is a multi-layered, absorbing read. In particular, the central character, Robbie, is flawed but likeable, a Kiwi living in Melbourne, and I’m sure we will see more of this resourceful, dedicated police officer in the future. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series – I am hooked!
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Original Sin Press