A cop needs to know what a child wants to forget
When a boarding school master at an exclusive boys’ school is shot dead. It is deemed accidental. A lazy and usually drunk detective is sent to write up the report. Cardilini unexpectedly does not cooperate, as he becomes riled by the privileged arrogance of those at the school. He used to have instincts. Perhaps he should follow them now…
With no real evidence he declares the shooting a murder and puts himself on a collision course with the powerful elite of Perth. As he peels back layers, the school’s dark secrets begin to emerge. But is his dogged pursuit of justice helpful or harmful to those most affected by the man’s death.
The story is set in Perth in a fictional Boarding school for boys near the Swan River in the 1960’s. A boarding master is found dead, shot. Sent to the incident is Detective Sergeant Cardilini who seems to already have many problems of his own, grieving the loss of his wife, Betty, being an alcoholic, and to top it off not a great role model to his son Paul. Is he really up to the job at hand?
There is a thread that runs through the story, which is that of the perspective of a schoolboy which does give some glimpses of insight into the school. Despite his alcoholism Cardilini does seem to get on with the job.
At first first it is thought that the death was accidental, which is what Cardilini is sent to write the incident up as, but his gut is telling him different, and he refuses to write it up as an accident, declaring it as murder, he starts digging into things, which leads him to find some dark secrets regarding the school and the ‘old boy’ network of the wealthy and influential people. How far does Cardilini really want to go when digging up some old truths? who could get hurt in the process?
At times this is a difficult read, covering the subject of sexual abuse, at times it is fairly graphic, then the cover ups by the hierarchy, the elite. Who can Cardilini trust when conducting an investigation like this?. When the people in charge are trying to cover it all up. Which could make his job tougher. But being a determined officer he wants to see justice served. But will it be?
This is a well paced story, despite his problems Cardilini seems to want to do what is right. Cardilini comes across as a nice person, one who will fight for the truth. I believe this could be the first of a series introducing Cardilini. It will be interesting to see where the author takes the character next. At times it reads like a play. For a debut novel it’s a great start. There is a bit of dry wit infused in the story at times.
Due to some unsettling and disturbing content which is fairly descriptive in places, this may not be suitable for everyone. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted. It can be dark, at times it’s also very atmospheric.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ will keep an eye out for more in this series.
I would like to thank #netgalley and #zaffre for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.