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  • Sometimes the little guy should win

    When a writer can capture a small town so perfectly that you can smell how run down it is, and transport you there in 3 sentences, you know you’re on a winner. Jock Serong manages to describe minute details in a way that fills the senses and the imagination. Loved this and have added him to my favourite author list. Authentic and delightful.

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  • An excellent read!

    I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Jack Serong, and Text Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this mystery of my own volition, and this review reflects my personal opinion of this work. I am happy to recommend this tale to friends and family. It is an interesting look into the insular, coastal lifestyle in a small fishing town, Dauphin, in the land down under and an interesting mystery as well. Lots of lovely word pictures in this work, and an undercurrent of lawlessness that I found slightly old west type threatening. We have two families as the basic protagonists - neither of them angels, but one much more sympathetic than the other. The several generations of the Murchison family own most of the small town of Dauphin including the pub and the hotel and control the little they don't own with bullying tactics and a tight fist on the money. Michael John McVean is an employee of the Murchison family, a man who handles some of their dirty tricks. The family abalone business is conducted on the 'Open Quest', a fancy fishing boat, and their other businesses, both legal and not, are lucrative as well. The family Lanegan is a much different kettle of fish. The parents both died when the family was young, father Dennis first with drinking and pancreatic problems eight years ago when the twins were expected, mother Trish when the twins were small, and the family has muddled on, barely scraping by with the older brothers taking over the running of the household and facing the occasional custody battle with family services. At the time of this catastrophe when Matthew-Matt-Mags (dob '89) was murdered and their fishing boat was set afire, Patrick (dob '91) may or may not have been a witness to that murder, sister Millie was 15 years and the twin boys Ben and Jack were 8 years old. The main source of income for this family was fishing from their shark boat 'Caravel' and runs, some illegal, for the Murchison family, ferrying abalone caught over the Murchisons' legal licensed quota into private Melbourne markets, and occasionally 'soft' drugs to and from the city in the 'Caravel' or the Lanegan's van. Our story is told from the viewpoint of several key characters. Harlin Weir seems to have a finger on the pulse of the small village of Dauphin despite his isolation in Melbourne. Barry Egan is a middle-aged, recent widower who pops into the story here and there, a native Dauphin resident familiar with the characters of all those who make up our cast. Leshter is the long-time bartender at the local pub, the Normans Woe, a man who sees all, knows-all, and seems to keep his own counsel. Charlie Jardim is a soft city boy, a lawyer currently in trouble for his runaway mouth, just dumped by his fiancee, and at present appointed by his boss Harlan Wier SC to do an in-depth study of the situation in Dauphin and confirm or refute evidence collected in personal interviews with emphases on the sworn testimony of Patrick Lanegan. It doesn't seem to matter to SC Wier how long this will take. And then we have the trial...

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