The Quarry, Kim Hunt

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

THE QUARRY is now the second novel in a series featuring NSW ranger Cal Nyx. If you're new to these, it's a series that's going to be well worth following. There's no immediate requirement to read the earlier book first (THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD), although it will give you a slightly fuller picture of this fascinating central character.

Of course there are some elements here that are kind of expected these days. Nyx is a tricky character, from a difficult background, who has found her place, working in the Australian landscape as it gives her a sense of peace and belonging. As does her love of classic cars, and her ongoing affection for Dif. The only person that provides Nyx with a link to family, he's complicated as well - how and why being revealed as the story progresses. Suffice to say, that he witnesses a dreadful thing, that has put him in danger, and the last time he's heard from is via a message to Nyx, about the only person in the world he can trust, and will understand where he's likely to have gone to ground.

A well balanced combination of extremely good characters, a very solid and intriguing plot, great atmosphere and some well placed social commentary into the bargain, THE QUARRY tackles quite a bit and achieves all of it with considerable flair. It's also nicely gritty and confronting in places, realistic and very well paced, with the reader called upon to spend a lot of time up close and personal with Cal Nyx, which isn't a bad place to be. A big part of that is the way that Nyx is aware of her shortcomings and brings to the story a lot of self-doubt, guilt, recrimination and a deep sense of morality, alongside some more super-human styled abilities. The lengths she goes to for Dif make perfect sense given their complicated past, her willingness to reach out to help the less well known an interesting twist. 

It's particularly intriguing to see the contrasting experiences of Dif and Nyx - their shared traumatic past resulting in two very different coping strategies - him withdrawal, her engagement on her terms only. There's a connection between these two that is worth every second of reading time that it takes for it to unfurl, helped always by Nyx's wry and very dry capacity for observation and commentary. 

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Seeing something you shouldn't have makes life on the margins a whole lot scarier.

Ranger Cal Nyx works alone in the vast NSW bushland reserves but is pulled away from the quiet and solitude by a coded message that only one other person could understand.

Dif, the only remaining link to her family, is in danger. He’s also the last person the police are going to take seriously.

No stranger to the complications of Dif’s life, and with her femme MIA interstate, Cal burns rubber up and down a lonely coastline, calling in favors from her unique contacts to intercept a relentless killer.

Are Cal's skills, badass bravado and risky schemes enough to bring a single-minded murderer out of the shadows?

Can she save the one and only person who truly gets her?

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