DARK COUNTRY - Brownyn Parry

Review Written By
Andrea Thompson

You'd be hard put to think of another mystery series, with a female protagonist that is set in the Australian outback so on this alone, perhaps author Brownyn Parry has chosen her setting and thus her market very well. We have somewhat of an old fashioned girl leading the action in this novel, and it
serves the character well to have that pioneering spirit in a single woman keeping law and order in the back of beyond.

A huge and not to be undersold appeal of Parry's novels is the picture they paint of small town Australia. Dungirri could be any one of hundreds of towns in any of the mainland States and it pays gentle respect to the tenacity of their inhabitants that live in such inhospitable surrounds. DARK COUNTRY is a more sophisticated novel than its predecessor, AS DARKNESS FALLS, though the two are very similar in construction and plot. The army of romantic suspense readers that have embraced a new talent will no doubt carry that interest onto the third book currently in the works. Parry's novels have that aura of yesteryear about them, which can be a nice change to reading of an investigation made more clinical by the opinion of instantly available experts and the swift results of forensic testing.

Romantic suspense is a combination of two genres that are the two best sellers in this country, romance and crime/mystery. The writers who choose to tackle this market can often alienate the readers of either camp who stray in by not including enough of the unspoken formula to each. DARK COUNTRY is not about the mystery, rather the mystery or crime element is a tool in which to bring the two lovers together. The suspense relates to whether Gil and Kris can overcome obstacles to be together, not as to whether a killer is brought to justice, or not.

Australian author Brownyn Parry lives in country New South Wales with her husband and two dogs.

Year of Publication

Dark Country is the second book in the loosely-linked series set in Dungirri.

Most people in the small town of Dungirri have considered Morgan ‘Gil’ Gillespie a murderer for eighteen years, so he expects no welcome on his return. What he doesn’t expect is the discovery of a woman’s tortured body in the boot of his car, and new accusations of murder.

Wearied by too many deaths and doubting her own skills, local police sergeant Kris Matthews isn’t sure whether Gil is a decent man wronged by life, or a brutal criminal she should be locking up. But she does know that he is not guilty of this murder – because she is his alibi . . .

Between organised crime, police corruption, and the hatred of a town, Gil has nowhere to hide. He needs to work out who’s behind the murder before his enemies realise that the one thing more punishing than putting him back in prison would be to harm the few people he cares about.

Kris is determined to help him, but will their search for the truth make her the next target?

Review DARK COUNTRY - Brownyn Parry
Andrea Thompson
Saturday, January 2, 2010

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