If you can remember the 'sixties, you weren't there. Not so Brisbane in the 'seventies. Through a tale of crooked cops, abetted by even more crooked politicians, cyclones, and devastating floods, Kirsten Alexander took me back to a time best forgotten in Queensland's history. This is hysterical fiction at its compelling best. Every spare moment I took the chance to read a chapter or two, or three, or ...
Abby and her younger brother commit a crime for which they spend the entire novel avoiding blame and subsequent conviction. Of course, there are times when they come close to dobbing themselves in but somehow bluff their way through. Their actions have widespread consequences, affecting not only their immediate family but wider circles. Even the ABC's flagship current affairs program, Four Corners, rates a mention.
As a Brisbane Western Suburbs citizen, I was tickled to see my daughter's high school involved and a very accurate description of the playground adjacent to Indooroopilly Shoppingtown. The latter has not existed for many years but the author's memory is obviously as good as mine. As a volunteer tour guide, my Characters of Brisbane segment contains those involved in the Whisky au Go Go nightclub murders. The author obviously is of my opinion of the guilt or otherwise of those convicted of that crime. However, this is not just a novel for those who remember Queensland in the 'seventies. It runs much deeper than that, just like a riptide.
There are many layers to a story which hinges on one criminal decision. How about an illegal drug farm, attempted kidnapping, the hedonistic way of life in Bali, infidelity, guilt, house pride, neighbourhood interactions, to name but a few?
Although I was engrossed by the storyline, I found it rather disturbing and can't really account for that. Did the author have me thinking of myself in a similar position? Whatever, I'm still thinking about it days after I passed it on to my husband. I wonder what his reaction will be.