Cover Image: Consolation

Consolation

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Member Reviews

This is one of those books that makes you wonder "How did I never heard about it before?"
It's gripping, atmospheric and you cannot help being fascinated by the different stories and the atmosphere of the Australian outback.
I read it as fast as I could and will surely read the other books in this series as I loved the style of writing, the storytelling and the fleshed out characters.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Three things made me fall instantly in love with the Paul Hirschhausen series: 1) it’s set in rural Australia; 2) Hirsch is just such a decent, likeable cop who really cares about his community; 3) the events happening in the series are not far-fetched, twisty stories but reflect the darker side of a real-life small community (it’s all very relatable). Plus, Garry Disher is a seasoned author who knows how to spin a good yarn!

In the midst of a cold, South Australian winter, Constable Paul Hirschhausen (“Hirsch”) has a few problems on his hands. Someone in the community has been stealing old ladies’ knickers off their clotheslines, leaving the senior citizens of Tiverton and Redruth up in arms. On top of that, Hirsch is sent on a welfare check to a remote farmhouse to address a teacher’s concerns about one of her home-schooled pupils. And, just as he is trying to sort these issues out, a parent goes berserk at the local school, prompting pupils and teachers to barricade themselves inside the classrooms until the fracas has died down. It’s all in a day’s work for Hisch, who spends his days driving around the area to check on the vulnerable members of his community and making sure that law and order is being upheld by the rowdier ones. 

There are many different storylines and multiple characters that drive the many threads Disher weaves together in CONSOLATION, which made for an intriguing and fast-paced read with the hallmark atmospheric setting that makes this series so compelling. Disher isn’t out to trick his readers with sleighs of hand, killer twists or red herrings galore, and yet it takes a clever armchair detective to follow all the clues and solve the mysteries in the same time as Hirsch does. I love Disher’s innate understanding of the obstacles a lone copper in a small rural town faces on a daily basis: the isolation, the weather, the fact that everyone knows everyone else’s business, just to name a few. I also appreciated the undertone of menace as evil crawls out of the cracks and makes the town an unsafe place.

CONSOLATION, just like its prequels, is a novel that reads like a good yarn at the local pub, catching up on all the town gossip, the speculation and the scandals. It’s both a comfort read as well as one you will be loathe to put down because of the many different mysteries Hirsch is juggling, and you really want to find out the answers. CONSOLATION has a little bit for everyone: crimes to solve, lots of intriguing backstories, true to life characters and the bleak, vast landscape that typifies Australian noir. I highly recommend this series to readers who love an atmospheric read told by a master of the genre and led by one of the most likeable small town cops you will ever encounter in a crime novel. I look forward to my next Hirsch-fix!
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The third in Garry Disher’s rural Aussie noir series featuring Constable Paul ‘Hirsch’ Hirschhausen, who has been demoted and sent to small town Tiverton. Like the previous books it covers a multiple series of events that Hirch becomes involved in and the author successfully builds the plot and tension as the book progresses.

Disher is also adept at getting the reader right into the heart of life in a remote rural town. Just enough description to flesh out Tiverton and surrounding areas, along with key local characters, without getting bogged down in too much descriptive detail.

These books are amongst some of the best crime writing out there at present. Highly recommended and already eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the series.
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The third in Garry Disher's rural Aussie noir series featuring Constable Paul 'Hirsch' Hirschhausen, the cop demoted and banished to small town Tiverton, has Hirsch becoming more embedded in the community after 18 months, doing his level best to secure and protect his town. He finds himself tested to the limits personally, he acquires a stalker, and professionally, as he finds himself in charge when his Redruth boss, Sergeant Hilary Brandl has personal issues and suffers injuries in the line of duty. His role, more often than not, consists of father confessor, therapist, social worker, fixer and general go-between between different parties. Many who move to Tiverton and Redruth find the isolation too much, and it is hardly surprising that those living in remote areas find the stresses and pressures put them at increasing risk of mental health issues, and it can be where hidden abuses can proliferate.

The region is scarcely immune from economic difficulties, with many living close to the financial edge, where it would take little to tip them over the edge, as Leon Ayliffe does, when as a supplier his bill is not paid and his daughter, Chloe, is humiliated at school. Leon and his 18 year old son, Josh, a confused teen, go on the run after a shooting incident, well armed, and with enough supplies to survive in the bush. A local businessman with an impeccable record and reputation becomes subject to growing rumours of an inability to pay, putting a festival at risk, with many looking to be out of pocket as a result. Hirsch has a snowdropper to deal with, as elderly women find their underwear taken from their clotheslines, uncovers troubling child abuse, investigates murders, and to top it all, his life becomes unbearable as he tries to avoid coming down hard on a stalker.

One of the aspects of this series that I enjoy is the wide ranging insights into the everyday life of a rural community police officer, particularly if they are the sole law enforcement representative, and have a vast area to police. Disher gives us a real sense of the disparate, and off beat characters that comprise the community, many of whom are vulnerable, and are part of Hirsch's twice weekly patrols into the more isolated areas under his jurisdiction. Hirsch does an incredible job in impossible circumstances, not always getting right, as he finally bows to advice from Brandl and Wendy on a more straightforward approach to being stalked. This is a wonderfully engaging addition to this terrific and compulsive Aussie crimes series, and I avidly look forward to the next. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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This book really conveys to me the isolation and vast distances between places in Australia.  Hirsch,  The main character, is a constable working in a small town in South Australia.  When his boss is injured while they are accompanying an environmental officer to a house, he ends up having to cover her role and his own job.  The rescue of a neglected girl, the apprehension of a knicker snatcher, a stalker, disdirected mail and a roofing scam, all appear to have nothing in common, but they take up a great deal of his time.  As the story progresses, the crimes become less misdemeanours and more federal and Hirsch has to deal not only with the federal police, but also the people committing the crimes.  
I wish the book was longer as I couldn't put it down.  I'm going to read the books before it now.
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Consolation is the third book in the Paul Hirschhausen series by popular Australian author, Garry Disher. If it was intended as device to remove him from the close contact (and wrath) of his colleagues, Hirsch's demotion to the one-cop station in rural Tiverton has now morphed into something else: he inhabits the role with quiet purpose and an unexpected satisfaction. Hirsch has become part of the community.

During the August chill, Hirsch makes a welfare check revealing a case of child cruelty, swiftly followed by an angry parent terrorising the school principal. Hirsch proves a talent for mediation, but senses resentment simmering.

Follow-ups with victims of a persistent snow-dropper, and of Irish roof-repair scammers are added to his regular patrols, but then a nasty incident puts him also in charge of Redruth Police Station and on the trail of a gun-toting pair seeking revenge. Filled with toxic masculinity, they’re not behaving like fugitives, indulging in thefts, intimidation and arson.

This is another excellent dose of Hirsch. Not only does he deal with financial irregularities in the bank accounts of vulnerable elderly, possible undue influence by neighbours or family, and a missing husband, he also gets stuck in the mud, acquires a stalker and is restrained by his own handcuffs. The kidnap of a teen and an armed stand-off provide exciting climaxes.

With his often-exquisite prose, Disher easily evokes his setting: “He’d been formed by a city, its exact delineations of asphalt streets and bricks in orderly rows, but out here the angles were unpredictable. Roads shot off in unlikely directions, buildings decayed at a lean and the endless flatland was neither endless nor flat, throwing up stone reef patches or plunging into gullies. And it was a landscape charged with unheard testimony: an ochre hand stencil in a cave; a stick figure carved into a rockface; a grinding tool laid bare after a flash flood.”

Amid a glut of flawed heroes, Hirsch is a refreshing protagonist: comfortable in his own skin; not perfect but certainly principled; not battling drugs or alcohol, not tempted by illegal or immoral activity; an essentially tireless cop, exuding integrity, dedicated to enforcement and protection tempered with the judgement calls essential in rural policing. Fans can only hope this is not the last of Tiverton and Constable Paul Hirschhausen. Brilliant Australian rural crime fiction.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Viper
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