"The neat suburban homes of the peninsula seem like an improbable setting for sex parties, blackmail and murder. Winter is closing in on the coastal community of Waterloo, and behind closed doors its residents have some peculiar ways of keeping warm.
"When Detective Inspector Hal Challis is called to investigate the brutal murder of Janine McQuarrie, shot in a deserted country lane as her seven-year-old daughter looks on, his progress is hampered by lies and secrets. It doesn't help that Challis's superior - bureaucrat, golfer and toady Superintendent McQuarrie -- is Janine's father-in-law. Or that Challis has his own personal demons to confront.
"Eeverybody has some thing to hide, something to lose. And someone in Waterloo is determined to kill again."
On Saturday she watched Robert have sex with four women. She had sex with two men. And now it was Tuesday and she was driving along the highway with her seven-year-old daughter. Sex with strangers on a Saturday evening, driving around with her daughter in the family station wagon on a Tuesday morning: were these the twin poles of her existence? Not any more. Janine McQuarrie had done something about that.
'Are we there yet?' asked Georgia in her piping voice.
Another cliché in a life of them. 'Not yet, sweetie. Bit further.'
She needed to concentrate. The weak, wintry sun was casting confusing shadows but, more than anything, she'd be obliged to make right-hand turns pretty soon. A right turn off the highway, another off the Peninsular Freeway, and another off Penzance Beach Road, which wound in a dizzying climb high above sea level. She slowed for an intersection, the light green. She should make a right turn here, but that meant giving way to oncoming traffic, which was streaming indifferently towards her, and what if some maniac failed to stop before she completed the turn? She tried to swallow. Her mouth was very dry. Someone sounded their horn at her. She continued through the intersection without turning.
From the Text Publishing paperback edition, 2005.
This novel is number 3 in the Detective Inspector Hal Challis series.
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Last modified: November 17, 2006.