STINGRAY - J.R. Carroll

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Publication Details
Book Title: 
Stingray
ISBN: 
0330356283
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Book Synopsis

You reckon you've seen everything, but you never have, have you?  There's always something really shitful up ahead.  Waiting for you....
 
The bodies of eight women are uncovered in the scrub at Kinglake.  For Kerry Byrne, head of the task force investigating the murders, it's a problem he doesn't need.
 
It's enough that his wife is slipping away from him.  Enough that he has to put loyalty to a mate above loyalty to the force.  Enough that he might become a target of investigation himself....
 
Book Review

This is an earlier book from J.R. Carroll (although later books are thin on the ground now as well), set in Melbourne, where the discovery of eight bodies in the scrub at Kinglake is only part of what is happening.  This book revolves around the man in charge of that investigation - Kerry Byrne.  It's about him and his mates in the squad.  It's about the problems that police have in staying uninvolved when what they deal with is indescribably horrible, and it's about the difficulties they have with their personal lives.
 
Sometimes the private life problems are self-inflicted though and Kerry is in serious hot water when he helps a mate - one of the squad - cover up the truth about a domestic incident.  He's also in trouble in his own home - but that's less self-inflicted, although his work schedule doesn't help.  In the meantime there are two possible options for the serial killer of all those women - although the truth behind who is killing them becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly for the reader.
 
As with all J.R. Carroll books - the pace of the story is rapid fire, the circumstances pretty horrendous, and the events complicated.  There's also a lot of sex in STINGRAY and whereas in some other books I can refer to it as slightly entertaining, in this one, it's frequently overtly violent and quite nasty - and could well put some readers off.  The resolution of the case was well done - with an element that was fairly telegraphed, but still somewhat surprising, and a great flawed, conflicted, difficult, prickly hard man character in Byrne.
 

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