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The Strip (Iain Ryan, Ultimo)

Iain Ryan plunges readers into the gritty, seedy underbelly of the 1980s Gold Coast in his latest noir crime novel, The Strip. Brimming with corruption and seduction, illicit meetings held in darkened doorways, and a serial killer who has left no clues, this thriller—based on real events—leaves reputations in its wake, as the ambitions of an unknown few threaten to bring down both underworld and senior police figures. Detective Constable Lana Cohen finds herself straddling the line between those who enforce the law and those who believe they are above it when she joins Strike Force Diablo following the death of a successful doctor. The doctor’s slaying is linked to six previous unsolved murders, but this time, it’s happened on Cohen’s turf, on the NSW side of the border. Grudgingly teaming up with Detective Henry Loch, whose past deeds have left him indebted to more than one shady character, Cohen must wade through the murky Queensland criminal world with her new ally to solve the case before there is another victim. Page-turning from the start, this book ratchets up the tension tenfold as the pieces fall into place and the novel reaches its thrilling pinnacle. The multilayered story cleverly weaves together to reveal who the killer is—and who is leading the charge behind the dirty thin blue line. Fans of Ryan’s earlier work, as well as of Garry Disher and Sarah Bailey, will devour this tense snapshot of 1980s Australia and the rotten core of the Sunshine State.

Books+Publishing reviewer: Kate Frawley is a former bookseller and a librarian in training. Books+Publishing is Australia’s number-one source of pre-publication book reviews.

 

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