The Hunt For The Dingo

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

The hunt for the dingo by PJ Nash.
This was a good read.  I liked Emory and Jeff and how they were together. 4*.
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When I read the blurb for The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash I knew that I wanted to read it, actually it was just the cover that made that decision for me, how could you not love it?

Having visited Australia and knowing how vast the country is and how the outback would make a great setting for any thriller I was excited to read this book. I also have a bit of a thing about Dingos but of course in this book the Dingo in question isn’t actually an animal but a person.

The Hunt For The Dingo is a really fast paced read, it has short chapters that keep the tension going and although it isn’t a long book at under 200 pages the author keeps the reader wanting more right to the very end.

I just wished that I had been able to get to know some of the characters a little bit more, perhaps if a few more pages had been added to the book with more details about the characters within then this book would have really worked, because although I really enjoyed reading it I felt a little bit disconnected from the characters.

Overall a great read, I look forward to reading more from the author.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash. I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.
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Wow! Well it said on the cover this was fast paced and it certainly was!  2 interlinked stories perhaps, the hunt for the Dingo - the serial killer murdering British female travellers and then the parallel story of Lawrence James, involved in the investigation of the Dingo but also the story of his unfinished business with Melbourne crime kingpin Cyrus Bain.  Told in the third person narrative in the main with interspersed sections written in the second person narrative - the voice of the Dingo which provided useful insight into the mind and motivations of the killer being  hunted in this novel.  The story moves around a lot from the actions of Lawrence James to different aspects of the police investigation to a journalist assisting James and following his own thread of the investigation.  The overall effect of this makes for a very fast paced read, which in the most part was easy to follow but at times I did have to pause to think about who was who and were we were at!
Along with the fast pace, there were a number of sub plots including the Cyrus Bain aspect of the story, plus the motivations of the killer, and some love interests between the characters.  This is the first book in a series with the characters Lawrence James and Jesse Sanderson and the author has packed a lot in to create the foundations going forward, of future plot lines plus character dynamics and behaviours.  While this worked, I do think the serial killer aspect of the plot could have been developed further, the premise of this was strong and it could have been a much more central part of the story.
This is a decent debut of a promising crime series which I suspect will develop overtime with increased familiarity with the characters enhancing the reader experience.
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Female Backpackers, the Outback and a Psychopath equal Murder.

In the Australian outback a killer, dubbed the Dingo, is killing female backpackers. To help find the killer ex British cop, Lawrence James, and psychologist, Jesse Sanderson, are brought in to catch this heinous killer.

Lawrence James also has unfinished business with Melbourne crime boss, Cyrus Bain, a gangster who will do anything to stay out of prison. James will do anything to keep the man in jail. He is the main witness in Bain’s trial and must stay alive.

A fast action complex story which will have you gripped until the end.

I read this book very quickly as the chapters were short and the action fast, so it was the case of one more chapter! I enjoyed the book very much as I liked the characters, good and bad, and thought Lawrence James was an amusing hero with bravado hiding his fears.

The stories could have been separated into two books and would have worked just as well if not better.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and I hope to read more by this author.

Chester.

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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This book is a very intriguing and fast paced thriller. Set in the Australian Outback, Lawrence James is an investigator tasked with finding the killer of young female backpackers. Apart from this, he has a price on his head by Cyrus Bain, a criminal mastermind who had previously shot James. He is the one witness who can put Bain behind bars. Lots of twists in this book and it is well written. A really good serial killer thriller. Thanks to Net Galley for my copy. I reviewed on Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook.
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The first thing that attracted me to this book is that it is set in Australia, a Country I absolutely love.

The story follows a police officer, Lawrence James, and police psychologist, Jesse Sanderson, as they hunt for a serial killer dubbed The Dingo, all whilst James avoids being killed by a hitman sent by Cyrus Bain, a master criminal, who James is trying to put away for a long time.

The book is very fast paced, with short chapters meaning you can either read a couple of chapters at a time if you are short on time, or read the whole thing really quickly under the presumption that you are going to just read one more chapter and then another one.  It was a very easy read for me as I love these kinds of books, especially with this one as it had the added suspense of the police officer being hunted by a third party at the same time.

Overall I thought it was a brilliant read with a lot of suspense as the killer has to be caught before he kills again.
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Painful!  Reading this novel was just painful.  I received the book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  This story is Part 1 of a multi-part novel written by P.J. Nash, and published originally by Raven Crest Books in 2014, then re-published by Bloodhound books in 2018.  The re-publishing apparently did not improve an already-bad book with its not-very-credible plot, which is, to be frank, completely helter-skelter.  New characters appear with uncommon regularity in this story and its chaotic plot.  We learn previously unknown character names every couple of chapters.  The scene moves rapidly between the Darwin area in Northern Australia, the Melbourne area in Southern Australia, and points between.  Parts of the story also take place in the U.K.  The story line in this novel is very difficult to follow.  It meanders all over the place.

There are at least two, and perhaps three, different themes to the plot of this story.  One is the hunt to catch a serial killer called “The Dingo,” while another is about a continent-wide organization of crooked cops called “The Brotherhood.”  There is also a sub-plot about a master criminal named Cyrus Bain, who seems to behave inexplicably, then disappears from the story line.  Perhaps this could have been a much better novel had the author stuck with a single point of view—from the protagonist, for example.  At times, we have no idea who is telling the story.  Actually, that’s not true.  It appears that everybody is telling the story.

Lawrence James is a Brit who now lives and works as a police officer in Australia.  He is trying to catch a serial killer nicknamed “The Dingo.”  Unfortunately, he is a complete incompetent.  He stumbles and bumbles around getting shot up, beat up, blown up, and otherwise seriously injured or captured by the bad guys.  He is not the epitome of a good police detective in any country, at any time, ever!  I could not identify with Lawrence James at all, and I don’t think you will, either.  

We are told that James used to be “a detective sergeant in the Metropolitan Police in London” before he came to Australia, but we aren’t told his current rank.  He could be a detective constable, or a detective sergeant, or even a detective inspector.  We don’t know.  Key parts of the back story are revealed piecemeal on a seemingly random basis.  Nor does the author do a very good job of character development.  It seems that James was a member of the Melbourne police force before being reassigned to the Northern Territory Police, but that’s not certain.  

The book has numerous logical and factual inconsistencies.  At one point, the author describes how James is told by Constable Dan Collins of the Northern Territory Police that “if you’re going to shoot me you’d better take the safety off first.”  James has taken out his Glock 17 and is holding it up and pointing it at Collins.  The only problem with that comment is that Glock handguns do not have safeties, and a little research would have told the author that.  Author Nash also has an uninformed tendency to refer to magazines as clips, even though they are two entirely different parts of a weapon.  By location #3083 in the Kindle edition of the book, the Glock 17 carried by James has miraculously morphed into a “Beretta 9mm,” but he also seems to carry a .38 revolver.  On several occasions, the ground is referred to as the “floor.”  In one place, we are told that there is a “squeal of tyres as the ABS kicked in, holding the four-wheel drive on the rain slicked road.”  Never mind that the whole purpose of an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) is to prevent the “tyres” from squealing. Then, too, rubber doesn’t squeal much on a rain-slicked surface, in my experience.  Skid, yes.  Squeal, no.   

 James must return from the Northern Territory to Melbourne to testify against a crime boss in an upcoming trial.  He is told that he will be flown to Darwin in a Cessna so that he can board a charter flight to Melbourne, but when he gets to the small airport, he finds that he is to fly in a “Cherokee.”  Cherokees are small planes built by Piper Aircraft Company.  This one, even though described as a “light aircraft,” seems to be a cabin-class plane with a distinct cockpit that is separated from the passenger cabin by a curtain.  It is, however, a single-engine aircraft.  Anyway, the plane takes off and climbs to a cruising altitude of 15,000 feet.  What’s wrong with that, you say?  Well, there isn’t enough air for humans to breathe at 15,000 feet, unless the airplane is pressurized. As far as I know, the only Piper aircraft that are pressurized are not called Cherokees.  (Could it be some sort of Cherokee Six? Probably not, as the Cherokee Six series of aircraft have a service ceiling of 14,600 feet, and this plane is flying at 15,000 feet.)  Also, the worldwide universal rules of altitude assignment hold, even in Australia.  The plane seems to be flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), which would require an altitude of some number of thousands of feet plus 500.  Therefore, they could be flying at 15,500 feet, or at 14,500 feet, but not at 15,000 feet.  If, on the other hand, they were flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), then they could cruise at 15,000 feet, but they would be receiving instructions from Air Traffic Control (ATC), and would not likely be making a steep turn at some point over the Outback.  In any event, an assassin has planted a bomb aboard the plane, and it detonates when the plane turns, breaking it into two pieces.  Fortunately for Lawrence James, he is sitting in the cabin at the back of the plane and survives the fall from 15,000 feet, as unlikely as that might seem.  Australia is the lowest of all the continents, so the elevation of the terrain where the wreckage came down would almost certainly be less than 2,000 feet above sea level (MSL), making the fall a good 13,000 feet.  Does anybody believe that humans could survive a 13,000 foot fall?  Not me. 

Considering that the book has been published twice, there are an unacceptable number of editing errors within.  Two different publishing companies have had the opportunity to correct any bad editing, but neither has apparently done so.  Spelling and grammar errors abound.  To top it off, Dr. Jessie Sandersen of Melbourne University is once referred to as Ms Sandersen, and sometimes her name is spelled “Sanderson” with an “o.”  The editing is just bad.  This is not a book I can recommend to anybody.  In fact, it is one of the worst pieces of fiction I have ever read.  Feel free to skip this single-star work.  Read something else, instead.
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It’s been five years since the Dingo has been active but suddenly the body of young British tourist is found and the case hots up again.  Lawrence James and Jesse Sandersen are called in to help with the case. 

Jesse Sandersen is top of her field in psychology but is seen by a lot of law enforcement as trying to explain away bad guys behaviour by blaming their childhood etc, which doesn’t make her popular.  She is forced to team up with Lawrence James, a misplaced British policeman.  He had to leave Britain after a case went bad, he ended up in Australia and comes across Cyrus Bain, a nasty piece of work, who after almost killing Lawrence puts a bounty on his head.  He deals with all that and has to find a sadistic murderer like the Dingo.

This book is full to the brim with action.  There’s plane crashes, explosions, kidnapping and murder all crammed into this story.  It has short chapters and an easy writing style that makes it a quick read.

I love the fact it was set in Australia, which is rapidly becoming my second favourite setting outside the UK.  It had a nice use of Aussie lingo and the it’s set against the backdrop of the outback, which too me seems like a scary and desolate place and I feel is really captured within the pages of this book.

If I had some critique it would be at times it felt a little rushed, and there were a few too many viewpoints for my taste. Also I felt there were a couple of small plot holes but then again there was so much going on in the story, I may have missed a few details.

I hope in the next book there is a bit more from Sandersen’s perspective as she intrigues me as a character.

Overall an action packed read and a good start to a series.
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First up, let’s talk about that awesome cover and how it just screams Australia to me!! This is just the 2nd Australian based book I have read, and I think I’m falling a little bit head over heels for the country as a setting for a book. Vast countryside, oppressive heat, great characters and a phenomenal language, full of some stonking colloquialisms to back it all up.

THFTD is a slightly odd book to try and pigeon hole. Yes, there’s a serial killer element, but there is also a criminal underworld element to get your head around, not to mention the journalistic and behavioural science aspects to boot. So, to me, this was a bit of a melting pot of serial killa thrilla’, investigative journalism and police procedural all mixed nicely together to form one hell of a ride for the reader.

Short, snappy chapters meant that I raced through this book in less than a day, taking myself slightly by surprise by just how quick and easy it was to read. There’s something about those short chapters that just keeps the pages turning, reminding me of my love for early James Patterson books such as Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls.

There are some great characters in this book, good guys and bad guys, none more so that Lawrence James, Melbourne’s finest ‘ex’ British cop. James finds himself fighting a battle on two fronts as he is tasked with finding the ‘Dingo’ but also has to battle with the criminal underworld, who have put a price on his head to avoid him giving evidence against Cyrus Bain (great name!) – the criminal underworld boss.

This book has a bit of everything from, abductions, assassination attempts and even a bit of romance between the main players, making this an absolutely fantastic read. Given this is the first book in a planned series, I feel we really just scratched the surface of the characters of James and criminal psychologist Jesse Sanderson, and I’m absolutely champing at the bit to find out what lies in store for them in future books.

A highly entertaining read that will have you turning the pages in blurred frenzy as you race through to the conclusion.

Great stuff, highly recommended!!
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An extremely addictive fast paced thriller, that I read in one sitting. It did take a couple of chapters as there are so many characters introduced, however this sets the plot and I was soon involved alongside James and Sandersen working out what was going on and by whom. 
Cyrus Bain, great character name, with a dark side I wouldn't want to come across in the lightest of days. 
The author had a great writing style, that was not only pacey, but I could imagine the settings that were described within the pages. This is a slightly different to the usual crime reads and I really enjoyed it for that reason.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Bloodhound Books for an advance copy of The Hunt for the Dingo, the first novel in a projected series to feature DS Lawrence James of the Melbourne police and criminal psychologist Dr Jessie Sandersen.

When criminal kingpin Cyrus Bain shoots James it unleashes a series of difficulties for him. He is the witness who can put Bain behind bars but Bain isn't keen on this and puts a bounty on James's head. As an alternative to going into hiding James is sent to the New Territory to help the local force hunt for The Dingo, a killer who went dormant for 15 years but is now back killing young English backpackers.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunt for the Dingo. It is a tense, taut thriller which held my attention throughout. It is not so much a whodunnit as the killer's voice is heard throughout the novel but more of a hunt for the killer and his motivations. The novel mostly concentrates on James but when he co-opts former journalist, Adrian Marsh, to help with research his point of view is introduced, as it that of Cyrus Bain as he plots his revenge. This scattergun approach should make for a choppy read but I was so caught up in the story that I welcomed every scrap of information available and didn't find it distracting as I usually do. I think the short chapters keep the novel punchy and the reader immersed.

I enjoyed the writing as well. It has an inviting style which had me hooked from the first page. I'm not sure how to describe it, down to earth and plain with a dash of cop humour is my best stab but whatever it is I found it addictive.

The plot itself requires a certain suspension of disbelief, especially on how often James can survive potentially deadly attacks, but it becomes amusing after a while - I'm sure he must be a Weeble - and the motivation is not original although firmly grounded in reality but it is an exhilarating read.

I like James as a protagonist. He is smart and determined but doesn't take himself too seriously. He is well drawn and comes across as both human and very likeable. Sandersen is not nearly as well drawn and comes across as the token dame, there for glamour rather than contribution. Perhaps this will change in the next novel.

The Hunt for the Dingo is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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I couldn't not read this book after reading the description. Just sounded to good a book to miss out on.

The story is actually a relatively quick read and only took me a few hours to devour. The chapters are pretty short and snappy so you have that hard task of deciding which chapter you actually stop at to take a break. I just kept telling myself one more and then all of a sudden I was nearly half way through!

The setting couldn't be anymore perfect. You really get the whole sense of the outback and how far away from everything you can be. I kept getting the Aussie accent in my head and trying to talk the lingo. Failing miserably I may add.

The book actually kind of reminded me of a television crime series but for the life of me I can't remember it's name. I think because we jump from place to place in quite quick succession due to the chapters, it makes the whole read set at a very steady pace, quite often picking up pace quite dramatically.

I have to admit I would have liked to have got to know the main characters a bit better. There is enough to be going on with but I didn't quite get the usual connection I usually would do. The epilogue had it feeling like the story was a one off but was glad to see that there is more to come from this duo as definitely want to get to know them better. I love the pairing as Jesse being a criminal psychologist, which is something that has always fascinated me, I think guarantees just what we can look forward to in future books.

The Hunt For The Dingo is a definite must read for crime fans who love a fast moving and action packed story. It certainly had me on the edge of my seat routing for James and Sanderson to catch the killer and when all is revealed, it certainly did not disappoint!
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