All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Dead Girl Sing – Tony Cavanaugh

on February 22, 2014

Dead Girl SingDead Girl Sing (Darian Richards #2)
Tony Cavanaugh
Hachette AUS
2013, 325p
Read from my local library

Darian Richards resigned from his job as head of homicide in Melbourne despite the fact that he was one of the best homicide cops and that he was still young enough to keep going for years. Burned out, disillusioned by corruption and the one killer he couldn’t catch, he went to live a peaceful life up near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. That didn’t quite go to plan – actually it’s still not going to plan.

Darian knows he should’ve ignored the phone. He gave girls in peril cheap phones with assigned ring tones and when one starts to ring, he finally answers even though he knows he shouldn’t. Ida from Vienna tells him that there are bodies before the connection is abruptly severed. With the help of his “eye in the sky” in Melbourne, Darian gets a location for Ida’s phone and drives straight there, finding two bodies in a shallow water grave. None of them are Ida and she is no where to be found.

Even though he knows he shouldn’t, he officially calls his discovery in. This will make him a suspect – what is he doing there? Is he connected to the girls? He is treated with contempt and suspicion until the homicide detective in charge realises who he is and then there’s smiles and friendship and asking for help. But Darian is done with that and he walks out, once again making himself a suspect. He is conducting his own investigation and it’s far more efficient to do so without the help of most of the Gold Coast police force tailing him around.

Something sinister is happening here and it’s the height of schoolies time where thousands of young school graduates descend upon the area for a week of drinking, partying and sex. However someone is preying on young, pretty, drunk easily persuaded women although this has largely gone unnoticed. Darian needs to find the connection, find the killer and stop it before there are more victims who never get to return home to their families.

Early last year I read the first Darian Richards novel Promise but somehow I never quite got around to reading this one when it was first released. The third novel The Train Rider is set to be released next week and I’m so keen to read that one because the train rider is the serial killer that has haunted Darian, the one that he could not catch. I’m anxious to see how that goes and what happens and to get more information so in order to read that this week, I thought I’d better read this one and fill in any gaps.

I love the Gold Coast. I holidayed there a lot as a child and went there for the first time in years for my honeymoon in 2011 and we had the most fabulous time. We went in a quieter period (May) where for a Victorian, the weather is still incredible but it’s much less crowded. So I loved revisiting a lot of the Gold Coast in this book – Darian drives there from the Sunshine Coast and then spends a lot of time driving around it. Some of his observations are cynical and hilarious and the glitzy showiness of the area, especially at this time of year is wonderfully showcased and provides a perfect opposite to the sinister underbelly and what is happening to these young and often foreign girls.

Darian has the most interesting way of working a crime and his thought processes are always fascinating. In this book he meets someone whom he knows is involved (and they are pretty sure he knows they’re involved) but it’s like a battle of wills. The culprit seeks to bullshit him but is probably aware that it isn’t really working and so they turn to another method instead. They battle it out and at one stage Darian comes off much the worse and is probably lucky to be left alive. However he manages to piece everything together and avoid the Gold Coast cops that want to bring him in as a ‘person of interest’ long enough to figure out what is happening, who is doing it and how they’re doing it, with quite a bit of technological help from Isosceles, the IT geek who does most of Darian’s investigative research grunt work. I love Isosceles and the role he plays in these stories. I’d like to have him appear as more than just the voice on the other end of the phone one day.

I can’t really say the same thing about Maria, the Sunshine Coast cop who has become Darian’s reluctant partner several times now. She bothers me, more so in this book than the last. I couldn’t help thinking at one stage that I probably wouldn’t mind if she were to become the next pretty victim even though she was probably much older than the targeted demographic. However Darian soon cut her out and that made the investigation much more enjoyable to read, especially the resolution. The final showdown of wits between Darian and the culprit was so enjoyable – I love that because he’s not a cop, he’s not constrained in the way he deals with things, although I have to say, he didn’t really seem to follow those rules when he was a cop anyway. But he has such a unique way of despatching people that are criminals, things that you don’t really expect and aren’t really proper but you can’t help but feel a little bit of sadistic glee in the outcomes.

Dead Girl Sing just made me even more keen to read The Train Rider as I can’t wait for Darian to go up against someone who has bested him before, someone who will really have to make him work for it. Hopefully it reveals a little more about him and gives the reader more of a handle on who is a pretty slippery character. I’m really enjoying this series and the fact that it doesn’t always go where I expect it to. Even more than that, I’m enjoying the fact that I don’t care that Darian’s methods are unorthodox!


Book #43 of 2014


Dead Girl Sing is book #7 of the Aussie Author Challenge – doing well so far in my resolution to read more Australian male authors!

One response to “Review: Dead Girl Sing – Tony Cavanaugh

  1. We seem to feel almost exactly the same way about these books Bree

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