There possibly isn't a more provocative subject for a psychological thriller than that of paedophilia. It's confronting, it can be difficult to deal with and it can very well turn a large proportion of crime readers away. But this is the subject of Leah Giarratano's debut novel Vodka Doesn't Freeze.
Mystery and crime books from Australia. News, views, reviews, releases and author appearances - crime fiction in Australia. Crime novels, mystery novels, detective stories, police procedural books, thrillers and soft-boiled mysteries
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Sergeant Jill Jackson and her partner Scott Hutchinson are called to the scene of a brutal bashing murder in the sandhills above Maroubra Beach. The victim is known to the police as a paedophile and it turns out his is the 3rd death in what looks like a series where the targets are paedophiles.
Mixed emotions begin here. It's the job of the police to find murderers but in this case they're not pushing terribly hard to find the killer before he strikes again. But ultimately, citizens can't take matters into their own hands and so the murders must be stopped.
This is an outstanding debut thriller featuring a "damaged" protagonist whose past is a complex mess that has manifested itself into a ritual of defensive techniques. Starting as a murder case, it inevitably becomes an investigation into an organised paedophilia ring and ultimately a terrifying fight for survival.
There is barely time to draw breath as the action is piled on thick and fast. Thought provoking commentary on the psychological trauma experienced by the victims of child abuse as well as the sobering message that all sorts of depraved souls hunt our streets.
Leah Giarratano writes from a position of vast experience having worked for years as a clinical psychologist specialising in trauma, sex offences and psychopathology. When she takes us into the minds of sexual and violent offenders you can be sure that she is drawing on all of that experience.
I can happily recommend this book highly to fans of psychological thriller readers.