Praise for Kittyhawk Down
“A police procedural . . . featuring a squad of interestingly flawed homicide cops . . . working multiple cases that feature multiple puzzles and a pool of incisively well-drawn murder suspects . . . First rate.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping . . . As the story neatly advances from the viewpoints of characters both major and minor, Disher artfully employs misdirection . . . Fans of [Peter Robinson or Ian Rankin] will find much to like in this dark whodunit.”
“Procedural fans looking for something a little different will devour this one . . . Enough dark overtones to elevate the series into the Ian Rankin league.”
Praise for the Hal Challis series
"This series boasts careful, realistic casework, but there’s enough darkness and ambiguity to suit John Harvey fans and a kind of which-way-is-up sense of the police force that recalls early James Ellroy. Moody, inventive, and extremely hard to put down."
In Australian author Disher's gripping second police procedural (after 2004's The Dragon Man), Melbourne homicide detective Hal Challis contends with the pressure of two unsolved murders and his inability to sever all ties with his wife, Angela, who years earlier was convicted of conspiring to have him killed by her lover and remains a suicidal prison inmate. Challis's current relationship with journalist Tessa Kane gets put on hold after his wandering eye fixes on Janet "Kitty" Casement, an aerial photographer. When someone threatens Kitty's life, Challis enlists his team to probe a maze of connections involving a loan shark and a letter-writing crank known as the Meddler. As the story neatly advances from the viewpoints of characters both major and minor, Disher artfully employs misdirection to conceal the identity of the criminal targeting the photographer. Even unsympathetic figures like the Meddler and a lecherous, reactionary police officer come across as three-dimensional. While Disher is not yet in the same league as a Peter Robinson or an Ian Rankin, fans of those authors will find much to like in this dark whodunit. Agent, Jenny Darling (Australia). (July 6) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A plethora of felonies and misdemeanors plague stolid Inspector Challis's district in southern Australia. The Peninsula is a "coastal comma" just southeast of Melbourne where DI Hal Challis is patiently fielding calls from his ex-wife Angela, jailed for attempting to kill him, while negotiating a tricky relationship with Tessa Kane, editor of the local tabloid. Workaholic Challis and his small force of constables have their hands full with a variety of cases. A washed-up and unidentified corpse Tessa has dubbed the "Flinders Floater" may be the work of an aspiring serial killer. Tessa also alerts Challis to a potential drug-trafficking operation. When Sgt. Ellen Destry and three other officers stake out the lovers' lane, they nail a dangerous rapist named Dwayne Venn who plans revenge. On the home front, Ellen begins an escalating war of words with her unfriendly neighbor Carl Lister, whose teenaged son Skip has become a drunken nuisance despite his friendship with Ellen's daughter Larrayne. Uniformed partners John Tankard and Pam Murphy investigate an alleged assault on a police officer who may be overreacting, only to see the case escalate. The Meddler, an inveterate letter writer, strains department resources even further. Death threats against intrepid aerial shutterbug Kitty Casement trigger inordinately personal attention from Challis; Tessa beware. Disher (The Dragon Man, 2004) overstuffs the plot but provides terrific characters and believable cases against a unique backdrop.