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The Dragon Man (Inspector Challis Mysteries) Hardcover – August 1, 2004
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Australian author Disher delivers an intelligent, atmospheric police procedural, the first of a new series. A serial killer targeting young women along the isolated Old Peninsula Highway has baffled Detective Inspector Hal Challis and his staff. Himself a resident of the Peninsula, as the locals call the sleepy "comma of land hooking into the sea south-east of Melbourne," Challis leads a solitary life. We soon learn that his wife Angela has spent the last seven years in prison for conspiring with her lover to murder him. Nicknamed "the dragon man," Challis in his spare time obsessively restores a vintage airplane, a Dragon Rapide. Indeed, as we meet the other police officers, it becomes clear that they're as interesting, not to mention as complex and morally ambiguous, as any of the criminals they seek. Pam Murphy, for instance, is an idealistic young constable recovering from a car crash and a nervous breakdown, and Sergeant Kees van Alphen raids the evidence locker for cocaine, which he trades for sex. Fans of such gritty yet cerebral crime novelists as Ian Rankin and Jack Harvey should be well pleased.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A serial killer targeting young women is on the loose on the Old Peninsula Highway, located on a comma-shaped peninsula jutting into the sea, southeast of Melbourne. Detective Inspector Hal Challis is in charge of the investigation, along with a rash of burglaries and arson cases. Two women have been murdered, and a third has disappeared, leading the locals to worry that negative publicity will keep tourists from enjoying the peninsula as their holiday spot. Although the plot centers on the serial killer, other officers work other crimes, including the case of a mysterious woman, part of a witness-protection program, who is terrified when her mailbox is set alight. The beautifully described setting lets the reader feel the oppressive heat of a December summer in Australia, and the characters are well drawn and distinct. Challis himself is a likable, honorable police officer fighting his own demons along with corrupt colleagues and inept superiors. A solid new series from genre vet Disher. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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I believe this is Garry Disher's fist novel and I look forward to more of his work. It is a nice change of venue.
I lived on the Mornington Peninsular, specifically in Rosebud (which is often mentioned) during my childhood and still visit the area frequently. It is a beautiful part of the world. My father was one of the construction workers on the Devil's Bend Reservoir, which is also mentioned quite often, though not for its donation to the ecology of the Peninsular area in this book.
Waterloo, Upper Penzance and Penzance Beach are made up locations, but all of the other townships mentioned are real.
You have read the blurb so I won't rehash the story here, other than to say that you will become invested in the lives of all the major characters and hopefully, you will like them, flaws and all.
The Dragon Man was not the first book in the series that I read, so it was good to go back to the start and get the groundwork for all the characters and the beginning of the formation of the CIU, at Waterloo.
Australian readers will love this book, particularly Victorians. I was wonderful to read about an area that I know so well; it really has bought the whole series to life for me..
A previous (American, i think) reviewer said that the Peninsular was in Queensland. It is not. It is way south of there, the southern most tip of the Eastern mainland of Australia, Victoria. Our capital city is Melbourne, not Brisbane.
I hope nobody minds the geography lesson. I really recommend this book and all the others in the series if you like a good police procedural.