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The Inheritance by Gabriel Bergmoser


Writers born in New Zealand have made a mark on the literary world for decades. We produce quality writers, even with those who travel overseas. Look at Katherine Mansfield who ended up spending most of her time in England and France. It’s the same with Gabriel Bergmoser, a Kiwi born writer now residing in Australia writing both novels and dramatic works and gathering success after success with both genres.


His new book, The Inheritance is a follow up to his successful foray into adult thriller writing with The Hunted but works equally well as a stand alone piece. The Hunted was a runaway success for Berhmoser and it is easy to see why. It is an exploration into the dark world of Australia and the city of Melbourne. It began the swiftly moving narrative style that adorns the pages of The Inheritance. Our fierce protagonist, Maggie - and there is no better word for her than fierce, she is next level rebel - was first introduced to the readership in The Hunted and this story definitely gives a deeper insight into the mind of the killer, and also the repercussions of a lot of these actions.


The grimy, down-and-out evocation of the setting is brilliant. Bergmoser is a skilled writer in making the reader see the setting the way the character does - and the places that Maggie frequents are the exact type of places that require creation of that dingy atmosphere. The imagery used by Bergmoser is just so driving and thorough. It comes out of the page for you, inviting you in. All the pieces melding together to create this tapestry of conflict in well executed writing.


It’s gory. There are plenty of severed appendages, bullets flying and knives creating carnage in a number of pretty violent scenes. However, it is fitting with the genre and the style that Bergmoser is trying to create. The intensity of the whole novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s breakneck pace pretty well from start to finish and yet the characters are robust and rounded like few actions that have come before.


The issue, if you were to press for one, is the lack of relatability one has to the characters. They are figments of another world. Perhaps a world that is too separated from reality. Despite the general locations being known to pretty much anyone you can think of - the bustling streets of Melbourne, it is set in a time that closely emulates our own, but lacks some of the authenticity to make it a true thriller for the ages. Severing heads in an apartment block for example.


Overall, it is one for the summer re-read pile. It just stands out for its quality character development, its page turning action and its literary quality with fabulous descriptive qualities.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

HarperCollins