Book Review: Stone Town by Margaret Hickey

Stone Town is a fast-paced rural crime drama. Three teenagers discover the body of a property developer in the middle of a paddock in an area once known for its gold.

Senior Sergeant Mark Ariti, recently posted back to his home town after nursing his dying mother. Recently bereaved and divorced, he is hoping for a quite life but the murder and disappearance of another policewoman Detective Sergeant Natalie Whitsted, prompts the arrival of two detectives and complicates his life.  

There are a lot of characters in this novel but it easy to keep track of them – the women of the CWA, the detectives, Mark’s ex-work partner, his children, the teenagers and many, many others. The landscape is constantly wet and the author does a brilliant job of portraying the bleakness of the rain as well as the rural community. As Mark get sot know the community he also learns how highly regarded and involved his own mother was.

The novel is certainly page-turning and I finished it quickly compelled to know what happened. The end wasn’t entirely surprising as clues were dropped particularly in the last quarter of the book.

This is a second novel with Mark Ariti, the authors first was Cutters End and there are references of this throughout the book. Not having read it, I’m not sure if that would have helped. I certainly thought the character of Mark was well portrayed and there were no gaps for me. After reading this book, I would read Cutters End.

Overall, a very enjoyable read and it would be a great one to read over the holiday season.

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