RARA-AVIS: Re: Garry Disher alert...

From: JIM DOHERTY (jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 14 Mar 2009

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    Re your question below:

    "But I've never read any of his Challis books. How are they?"

    I've only read the first, THE DRAGON MAN, which was a pretty decent cop-vs-serial-killer procedural. It has a rural/suburban setting that marks it off from the urban setting of Sydney or Melbourne in series like Jon Cleary's Scobie Malone novels. Challis has a pretty interesting backstory. Like a lot of cops in fiction, his marriage broke up some years ago. Unlike a lot of cops, it broke off because his wife tried to have him murdered. She periodically calls him from prison, hoping they can patch things up. In a hobby reminiscent of those boast Agent Jethro Gibbs builds on N.C.I.S., Challis is, in his spare time, restoring a vintage airplane, a de Havilland DH-84 Dragon Rapide. Hence it is, oddly, Challis, and not the serial killer, who is known as "The Dragon Man."

    Awards aren't necessarily the best arbiter of quality, but by and large an Edgar-winner or a Dagger-winner tends to be a satisfying read. FWIW, THE DRAGON MAN won the German Crime Fiction Prize, and the fourth novel in the series, CHAIN OF EVIDENCE, won the Ned Kelly Award, Australia's equivalent of the Edgar or Dagger, for Best Novel.



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