by Robert Schofield (Allen & Unwin, RRP $37):
Gareth Ford is working long hours in the iron ore industry in Western Australia. He is a solo parent with plans for improving his future. But then his past starts to catch up.
When Gareth’s housemate is found dead, the local police discover that he has a file and it is flagged.
This is because of his connection to a gold robbery (related in a previous novel, Heist) in Australia’s Kalgoorlie goldfields.
Gareth now calls on a police contact in the Gold Squad for help. The two team up and soon find out that trouble is following them in the form of two men and that it is linked to the gold robbery. Then they hear from Ford’s ex-wife and so travel to meet her in hope of answers.
The good, the bad and the scary all start to gather around them as they head off to the Pilbara area of northwest Australia, in particular Marble Bar, the hottest town in Australia. (On Googling Marble Bar, I was delighted to find that it is a real place.)
The action is smooth though occasionally bloody and the characters enjoyable if slightly stereotyped. All in all, a good old-fashioned thriller a la Bagley or Hammond, with a modern veneer.