If you are a previous reader to this series, you will know that Darian Richards operates under the direction of his own personal moral code, as determined solely by him. He is not one of those battered and brooding protagonists – it is more that he has given up caring about the larger world and has contented himself with the concerns of his small circle of people. Once he commits, he commits.
Author Tony Cavanaugh has had a long and illustrious career in film and tv and thus brings that excellent crafting of place and character to his crime novels. All of his creations are wholly convincing and though sketched with typical Australian economy, they are entirely recognizable in their landscape.
KINGDOM OF THE STRONG is strongly anchored to the Melbourne setting and the reader is very much travelling along the streets with investigator Darian Richards. The same themes do thread through the novels in this series; loss, redemption, loyalty and betrayal and KINGDOM OF THE STRONG gives a little illumination to the before, as in what Darian was like when he was operating, albeit loosely, within the parameters of the Victorian police force.
Darian Richards is one of those crime fiction characters that you want to know more about with each series entry. Darian’s world is familiar yet his slant on it is not. KINGDOM OF THE STRONG is another strong novel in a compelling series that powers forward with Darian’s insight into what is visible on the surface, and the underside which perhaps might not be seen, but is always present.