Another newcomer to the Australian crime market, but this one firmly set in the present, in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Stella Hardy is a 40-something western suburbs social worker who seems to be particularly good at getting into trouble. When she gets a late call late from one of her young clients, a Sudanese boy, the news is bad. His brother, who had been keeping some bad company, is dead.
But when Stella turns up to comfort the family, she gets a bad shock when she discovers one of her old secrets might be coming back to bite her.
While trying to find out how much the dangerous people around her might know about her past, and how worried she should be, Stella finds herself getting deep into the murder investigation, calling on her friend, Sen-Constable Phuong Nguyen, to find out what she can.
Caught in the mix are the disappearance of her neighbor Tania, who seems to have some pretty big and dangerous secrets of her own, and a new and unexpected romance that could be just too good to be true.
This is an interesting and confident new voice in Australian crime fiction and Stella Hardy is an appealing new character. It’s also good to see the Western suburbs feature.
A couple of the plot points didn’t quite work for me, but overall this was an enjoyable read. Green’s manuscript was shortlisted for last year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.
Book published in November, 2015.
This review first appeared in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine.