The shadows have always been in pursuit of Sarah. Moving across the country in order to leave her troubles behind, Sarah creates a new and peaceful life for herself and her tween daughter Marni. It has been a battle for Sarah to keep ahead of her past (life has sometimes been unnervingly unfair to the single mother) but she has always taken in pride in having made a clean break from her convoluted family history. Until now. The menace the press have dubbed “The Freeway Killer” has frightened parents into watching their girls closely and also into putting pressure on the police who have been charged with putting the killer away. Detective Ross Hunter’s investigation seems to be leading nowhere until he has cause to question the story of “Fat” Freddy, lawyer at large, who claims to have been the victim of a temporary abduction himself. As the hunt progresses, the killer has been busy making preparations. His next selection proves to not be like all the rest.
THE SILENT INHERITANCE strides with purpose for the bulk of the novel as the field narrows and possibilities are discarded. There are a number of separate narratives running alongside each other. The characters are somewhat of a curious yet dispassionate bunch. As a result, readers subsequently may not invest too much in worrying about their fate. It is difficult to engage with their struggles, even as they discover and connect with each other. It also means that by the novel’s end there are quite a few threads that need tidying up.
Set in Melbourne THE SILENT INHERITANCE does a terrific job in encapsulating a crime within the suburbs. The rest of the busy and largely uncaring city continues on its merry way as relationships form and fracture, and families struggle to cope with the loss of their daughters. The killer hiding in the midst of all this has his own mission to fulfil, and it is the mechanics of him keeping it all together whilst being hunted that is oddly fascinating. This is not a read to be rushed, but considered carefully.