FORECAST FRIDAY: 55 by James Delargy (Simon & Schuster, $29.99). Due out May 2019
Each Friday I forecast a book that I am looking forward to reading and reviewing.
This week it is an Australian debut crime novel by James Delargy. Set in a remote, dusty town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, it is described as being a cross between Wolf Creek and Jane Harper’s The Dry.
The crux of story is that an injured man stumbles into the small, sleepy town of Wilbrook. He is covered in dried blood and bruises. He claims that he was drugged, driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in chains. He managed to escape and left his kidnapper lying in the desert after a struggle and a fall down a ravine. He also claims that before he escaped that his kidnapper said that he was going to be number 55, his 55th victim. Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who runs the town’s small police station settles the man down and starts the search for the kidnapper, when a second man walks into the station with an identical story and claiming that he is the actual victim and that the other man is the serial killer.
It is an intriguing premise that seems to add a serial killer twist to the recent enthusiasm for outback crime novels. I have quickly read the opening chapters and Delargy does a good job in describing the decaying town of Wilbrook and its inhabitants. He smoothly sets up the basic premise and creates a good sense of mystery. I think it is going to be a good one with strongly described characters and lots of twists.
Look out for my review closer to the release date.
(Thanks to Simon & Schuster and the Canberra Weekly for an early copy).