The neat suburban homes of the peninsula seem like an improbable setting for
sex parties, blackmail and murder. Winter is closing in on the coastal community
of Waterloo, and behind closed doors its residents have some peculiar ways of
When Detective Inspector Hal Challis is called to investigate the brutal
murder of Janine McQuarrie–shot in a deserted country lane while her
seven-year-old daughter looks on–his progress is hampered by a web of lies and
secrets. It doesn’t help that Janine’s father-in-law is Challis’s
superior–bureaucrat, golfer and toady Superintendent McQuarrie–the Waterloo
coppers battle personal and political agendas from all sides.
Everybody has something to hide, something to lose. And someone in Waterloo
is determined to kill again.
I like the Challis books, but I love his hardboiled,
darkly-funny "Wyatt" capers, which are obviously inspired by Donald
Westlake’s Parker books. My friend Scott Phillips introduced me to Disher’s books
a few years ago and I’ve been grateful to him ever since. I read them all, one after another, over a solid week, along with several Wyatt short stories and novellas.
(Thanks to Perry Middlemass for the heads-up)