I really enjoyed this new Australian novel on a number of levels. It is a crime novel, at its core, but it's a lot more than that. The writing is lovely and engaging, and the pace keeps you reading - I did a couple of later than usual "lights out" as I wanted to keep going. The structure is a little unusual, I think, but it does work. I could probably have done with slightly fewer dream excerpts - I can see why they're there, but occasionally I found them a little distracting. This is certainly not a criticism - the pace was still full on and I was drawn in. A couple of nights with not enough sleep attest to this!
Chandler's characterisation is simply excellent - all of them believable, many one can relate to, and some first-grade human detritus as well. As an ex-detective, I always critically view authors' depictions of police officers, as they are often not very realistic, even from otherwise excellent writers. No such concern for me here - Chandler has done a solid job with her police characters. Drawing on my police background, Chandler's examination of relationship violence and psychological entrapment and capitulation are chillingly on the money, and she covers the "flesh industry" with seedy accuracy, too (I worked in Vice, amongst others).
No spoilers here, but you won't see the end coming!
A great read, beautiful writing, and I am going to be buying more of Chandler's work.