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

Monday, March 17, 2008

Reading Notes : Harum Scarum by Felicity Young

Harum Scarum is the third crime novel by Felicity Young. The first two are titled A Certain Malice (pub. Creme de la Crime) & An Easeful Death (pub. Fremantle Press).

This is the second Detective Stevie Hooper book and is the sequel to An Easeful Death.

Set in Perth, Australia.

Protagonist is Detective Sergeant Stevie Hooper who worked in the Serious Crimes Squad in the first book but now has moved across to the Sex Crimes, Cyber Predator Team.

One of the reasons she has moved out of Serious Crimes is that her old squad is headed by Inspector Monty Maguire with whom Stevie is in a relationship. The back story to Stevie and Monty's relationship is a little convoluted and was played out in An Easeful Death (so get it and read it) but in a nutshell, Monty grew up with Stevie’s family on a property in WA. They were close friends growing up but only recently accepted that their mutual attraction was more than just friendship. Not surprisingly they have issues.

Notable Plot Points From the Book

  • Stevie arrests a cyber predator who has set up a face to face meeting with the young girl he thought he had been chatting with.

  • Bianca Webster runs to the park hoping to meet Daniel, a boy she has been chatting to on-line. She meets a man instead.

  • Detective Inspector Monty Maguire is called to a crime scene. A young girl’s body has been found thrown in a dumpster. She has been raped and then asphixiated.

  • A suspect in the murdered girl case is found shot to death in his car.

  • There’s an important link connecting the shooting death and an earlier murder.

  • Child abuse and paedophilia runs through the story, grimly joining all the threads together.

There's a lot going on here with an on-line paedophile ring in operation around the Perth area, preying on young girls through a type of fan site. The murders that take place look completely unrelated on the surface but the mere fact they are mentioned in the book tell us there's more to them than is first represented. The question is: how are they related?

Complementing the well-crafted plot, which has been constructed with noticeable attention to detail, Felicity Young also makes sure the relationship between Stevie and Monty progresses satisfactorily. There is a definite hint that there will be another book to come involving these characters.


Anonymous said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Notebook, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

Kerrie said...

My review of HARUM SCARUM is at
Felicity Young will be our guest on oz_mystery_readers at the beginning of May in Quiz an Author.