When the body of a naked man is found in the middle of a barren field, Detective Kay Hunter realises the investigation will test her skills to the limit.
With only one clue to the victim’s identity, her inquiries lead her to local charities for war veterans and the homeless – both of which are underfunded and overwhelmed.
Discovering that someone is offering money in return for information about the dead man and anyone connected to him, Kay realises that there is a disturbing and dark side to the victim’s past.
When a key witness disappears from a local temporary shelter, she fears the worst.
Can Kay and her team of detectives find out who is behind the man’s murder before another vulnerable person is targeted?
What I like about Rachel Amphlett’s crime is that it is often quiet and understated. That is not to say it didn’t have its dramatic moments, because it did it’s just Amphlett chose to use the slow burn route. She cleverly laid the foundations, a broken body, the unusual form of murder, and a trail that led to modern day slavery, it’s base in greed, power and money.
Detective Kay Hunter was our eyes and ears, methodical in her approach, no stone left unturned as she vowed to find answers and ultimately justice. She was a police officer with integrity that cared for the people she interacted with, yet became ferocious but fair in pursuit of those who had perpetrated the crimes. It was what made you like and admire her, a detective that wasn’t all hard core, but had feelings and a vulnerability. I always love to hear of the escapades of her vet husband, the myriad of animals that are paraded through their home, Amphlett’s way of giving the novel a lighter, less intense feel.
Amphlett showed a crime team that operates on respect, Cara, in particular valued, encouraged to better herself.
But what of the other side, those suspected of the crimes they investigated? Farming didn’t seem like the obvious place for crime, but Amphlett portrayed a rural community that worked hard in challenging times, money hard to earn. She gave us the traditional farmer, but also the new type of landowner, one that intensively farmed animals, as Amphlett spared none of the details, the poor, cruel conditions, the disgust you saw on Hunter and her teams faced.
She added in homelessness, the fate of so many military personnel who suffered form PTSD, who couldn’t maintain relationships or normal life. Amphlett showed their desperation to survive, their vulnerability, easy targets for those who wished to benefit at their expense.
Combined with the horrors of modern day slavery you read as Hunter unveiled the full extent of the crimes. You were never quite sure how it was done, who was ultimately responsible, as Amphlett pulled the various strands together, the truth finally exposed.
What I liked more than anything about Left For Dust was its intelligence, the slow burn as foundations were laid, the winding up of the cogs as the pieces slowly fell into place and the final drama filled conclusion.
Amphlett left us with questions, what next for Hunter’s team, what direction and what more would they encounter?
I would like to thank Saxon Publishing for a copy of Left For Dust to read and review and to Sarah Hardy of Books On The Bright Side Publicity to participate in the blogtour.
Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a film extra and freelanced in radio as a presenter and producer for the BBC.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and is a bestselling author of crime fiction and spy thrillers, many of which have been translated worldwide.
Her novels are available in eBook, print, large print and audiobook formats from libraries and worldwide retailers.
A keen traveller, Rachel has both EU and Australian citizenship.