Death Beyond the Limit, B.M. Allsopp
DEATH BEYOND THE LIMIT is the third novel in the Fiji Island Mysteries series featuring superstar ex-Rugby player, now Police Inspector, Joe Horseman. This is one of those series that will work really well if you're reading it in order, but luckily won't matter too much if you don't.
Having really enjoyed the first two novels in this series, one of the aspects I was particularly intrigued about was the balancing act between what's increasingly becoming the two central police investigators - Horseman, with his Fijian background, culture and sensibility and his sidekick DS Susie Singh, with her Fijian Indian background and the slight variances in culture and tradition. These aspects are both particularly well executed and in DEATH BEYOND THE LIMIT, Singh's personal life takes centre stage, playing out a story of potential suitors, and the complications of maintaining a professional life in the face of traditional expectations.
The balance here, as in the earlier novels, is well maintained, with the central investigation of the gruesome find of a severed head, and then hand, all that's ultimately discovered of a victim's body, making identification, and what could have killed him complex and very vexing. As you'd expect in a smaller community though, connections start to emerge and it's partially those that lead to the identification, then to a potential crime scene, and ultimately to politics and the challenges of international fishing fleets and territorial waters.
On the gentler side of crime fiction, without necessarily falling into cosy classification, this is a lovely series of novels, entertaining and engaging, educational without tipping into lecturing, with a strong sense of place and the culture in which they are set. It also doesn't hurt that they are built around a couple of central characters with life scenarios dripping with potential. If you're looking for a series that's a bit different from the gory, dark, run of the mill sort of police investigation style, the Fiji Island Mysteries could be just the thing.
Can a landlubber detective combat evil on the high seas?
Inspector Joe Horseman stares into the eyes of a severed head. Fished out of a shark’s gut, the unknown victim is soon dubbed Jona by the media. Did the tiger shark kill Jona or was he already dead when it clamped its teeth around his neck? Horseman must battle ruthless criminals, bureaucracy and even the law itself to dredge up the answers.
But cracking the case may not be enough. Can Horseman stop this crime sinking without trace in the lawless ocean?
Death Beyond the Limit is the third novel in the exotic Fiji Islands Mysteries series. Crime fans who like diving deep into turbulent waters will love B.M. Allsopp’s gut-wrenching whodunit.