All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Diamond Sky by Annie Seaton

on June 28, 2017

Diamond Sky (Porter Sisters #3)
Annie Seaton
Pan Macmillan AUS
2017, 356
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

The Kimberley can be a haven for those who can stand the heat, but its isolated beauty can also be deadly, if you’re not paying attention…

The remote Matsu diamond mine in the Kimberley is the perfect place for engineer Dru Porter to hide. Her insignificance in that vast and rugged landscape helps her feel invisible. And safe. Surely the terror she left behind in Dubai will never find her here.

Security specialist Connor Kirk knows from experience that beautiful women are capable of treachery. When he arrives at Matsu to investigate a diamond theft, he immediately suspects the reclusive but obviously capable Dru Porter. He knows she’s hiding something.

As Connor’s investigation deepens and Dru’s past catches up with her, their instant, mutual dislike threatens to blind them to the true danger lurking in the mine, one which could leave them both at the mercy of the desert…

This is the third in Annie Season’s trilogy of books about the Porter sisters, each set in a quite a glamorous but remote Australian location. This is actually the first I’ve read – I didn’t realise it was linked to other books until I received it and I think it reads well enough alone although there were a few things about the girls’ father that I was curious about that may have been addressed in the previous two books.

Dru Porter works as an environmental engineer at a large diamond mine in remote Northern Territory not far from Lake Argyle. The area is famed for its coloured diamonds, most noticeably pink but also violet, which Dru’s mine produces. Unbeknownst to almost everyone working at the mine, several diamonds were smuggled out and so the company has hired security expert Connor Kirk to go undercover at the mine and find the weaknesses in their security and also, get the evidence required to prosecute the thief and prevent it from ever happening again.

So I really enjoyed the story in this book and I really liked Dru herself but oh wow did I dislike Connor and his attitude. Honestly, the last thing you want is a security expert who cannot be impartial and who comes into a job with hang ups from his past. Connor was once betrayed by a woman and now he knows that women are not to be trusted….. Especially beautiful ones. And beautiful confident ones? They’re obviously hiding something. Probably the fact that they’re a huge diamond thief. At least, this is the way that Connor feels. His internal dialogue about Dru is really unflattering. And it clouds his judgement in almost every way and his incompetence honestly nearly has the most horrid of repercussions for Dru. He doesn’t dig deep enough or conduct a professional/impartial enough investigation – Dru is highlighted by the company as a possible suspect for a location reason before he arrives and it takes Connor no time at all to decide she must be guilty because of stupid reasons, his prejudice and some really half baked circumstantial evidence that he doesn’t actually take the time to follow through on. Some of his methods are also very invasive of someone’s privacy and I thought Dru was entitled to be a lot more angry than she was about his actions.

Connor aside, the book is really enjoyable. Loved a bit of a peek into what it’s like to live/work on a remote mine. Dru works two weeks on followed by two weeks off in a FIFO (fly in fly out) situation and most of the others are similar. The shifts on site are long, it’s a ‘dry’ site (no alcohol, although this is often broken) and the oppressive heat is a burden. I liked Dru’s backstory as well, the real reason she left Dubai as well as the events in her childhood that had shaped her to be the way that she was. I resented a lot of the attitudes toward her though – the whole Ice Queen thing, uptight bitch could do with being taken down a peg or two, doesn’t like men because she hasn’t slept with anyone on site….etc. There’s a bit of a list. I suppose perhaps it’s what you could expect on a mine that’s predominantly staffed by men but it doesn’t make it okay. The conflict between the mine and the local Indigenous population was a good element to the story too, one that I was quite happy to see addressed in significant detail. Part of Dru’s job is liaising with the local Aboriginal community in order to do the best she can at returning the site to how it was before the mine and her connection with Rocky, an Indigenous man who has worked at the mine for many years, was really nice.

Overall I really did enjoy this story and I’d like to read the other two books that came before this one about Dru’s sisters. It’s just a shame that I didn’t really like Connor as a character and never felt felt as though he was redeemed for me, even when he discovered just how colossally he’d gotten things wrong.

7/10

Book #111 of 2017

Diamond Sky is book #36 for the 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge

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