MYSTERY

Under the Cold Bright Lights

Soho Crime. Jul. 2019. 312p. ISBN 9781641290579. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781641290586. M
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In his latest title, Australian crime writer Disher introduces retired detective Alan Auhl, called back to service to check out cold cases in which his experience is an asset. One of Disher’s strengths has always been an eye for detail and detail is what cold case investigation is all about. Auhl’s juggling three cases. A skeleton is found under a concrete slab, long dead. John Elphick’s daughters insist their father was murdered and call Auhl every year to ask him to look into the case again. Then there’s the doctor whose first two wives conveniently died just when he got tired of them. Auhl knows he killed them, but he’s lawyered up so what can he do? The doctor’s tiring of his third wife now. What happens next? There’s a side drama involving a lodger where Auhl lives: her abusive husband is trying to take her daughter away. Auhl has to step outside the law to resolve this one.
VERDICT In any novel by old pro Disher (Port Vila Blues), the characters have substance, the plots are strong, the action is credible and swift. This outstanding work will appeal to all detective-o-philes.

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