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Kittyhawk Down


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About the Author

Garry Disher has published over fifty books in a range of genres, including crime, children's books, and Australian history. His Hal Challis and Wyatt crime series are published by Soho Crime. He lives on the Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne.


Kittyhawk Down is the second book from award-winning writer Garry Disher to feature cop Chal Harris, who first appeared in the excellent Dragon Man. Disher, as with his earlier Wyatt series, forsakes the mean streets of the big cities for the more rural setting of the Mornington Peninsula- greener but no less mean: the Flinders Floater has to be identified, a violent rapist has to be snared, there's three shotgun murders to solve, plus a spiralling drugs problem and lurking in the shadowy background, the unsolved murder of a young boy and the local white trash suspect. This is a dark, absorbing read and a bold move by Disher as he employs a multi-voiced third-person narrative. Harris, with many personal troubles of his own, is supported by a particularly human cast of fellow cops. However, this is to the detriment of the main character and I'd like Harris to play a greater role, particularly if future books are planned. The plot is nicely paced though and the chapters sport neat, rounded scenes that draw you in and keep you reading. Some of the loose ends are tied up rather too easily but there is still enough left at the end for a good twist. David Honeybone is editor of Crime Factory magazine. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

In Australian author Disher's gripping second police procedural (after 2004's The Dragon Man), Melbourne homicide detective Hal Challis contends with the pressure of two unsolved murders and his inability to sever all ties with his wife, Angela, who years earlier was convicted of conspiring to have him killed by her lover and remains a suicidal prison inmate. Challis's current relationship with journalist Tessa Kane gets put on hold after his wandering eye fixes on Janet "Kitty" Casement, an aerial photographer. When someone threatens Kitty's life, Challis enlists his team to probe a maze of connections involving a loan shark and a letter-writing crank known as the Meddler. As the story neatly advances from the viewpoints of characters both major and minor, Disher artfully employs misdirection to conceal the identity of the criminal targeting the photographer. Even unsympathetic figures like the Meddler and a lecherous, reactionary police officer come across as three-dimensional. While Disher is not yet in the same league as a Peter Robinson or an Ian Rankin, fans of those authors will find much to like in this dark whodunit. Agent, Jenny Darling (Australia). (July 6) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Kittyhawk Down
"A police procedural . . . featuring a squad of interestingly flawed homicide cops . . . working multiple cases that feature multiple puzzles and a pool of incisively well-drawn murder suspects . . . First rate."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Gripping . . . As the story neatly advances from the viewpoints of characters both major and minor, Disher artfully employs misdirection . . . Fans of [Peter Robinson or Ian Rankin] will find much to like in this dark whodunit."
--Publishers Weekly

"Procedural fans looking for something a little different will devour this one . . . Enough dark overtones to elevate the series into the Ian Rankin league."
--ALA Booklist Praise for the Hal Challis Thrillers
"It's a rare pleasure to sit down to a traditional detective story in which solid police work solves a crime . . . An excellent Australian series."
--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review "Delightful . . . BUY IT!"
--New York Magazine "Colorful . . . Disher has literary talent and imagination."
--Chicago Tribune "Garry Disher's terrific, no-nonsense police procedurals set in rough-and-ready Australia remind me of Ed McBain's gold-standard 87th Precinct books."
--Seattle Times "Engrossing . . . Disher creates the kind of complex, edgy, principled yet flawed characters it's a pleasure to worry about."
--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "This series boasts careful, realistic casework, but there's enough darkness and ambiguity to suit John Harvey fans and a kind of which-way-is-up sense of the police force that recalls early James Ellroy. Moody, inventive, and extremely hard to put down."

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