Cover Image: The Way It Is Now

The Way It Is Now

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Member Reviews

An Australian crime book with mystery and suspense. Garry Disher has a way with words that puts you right in the middle of the story. I did enjoy this book. Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. #netgalley #thewayitisnow
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I love crime thrillers especially ones set in Australia so I was excited to read The Way it is now by Garry Disher, who is a new author for me. This was an enjoyable read where we are shown the strength and weaknesses of the characters, no one is as they seem and the police culture is explored and the effects this culture has on not just the officers but their families as well.. It was well plotted, with the main story of Charlie’s mothers disappearance running through along with sub-plots which added layers to an already interesting story.
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Over the past year I have been discovering Australian authors and Garry Disher is my favourite.  His writing brings his characters to life and drags you into their world.  Charlie, the main character, is a breath of fresh air.  Suspended from the police force but trying his best to do what's right.  
This is a standalone novel and I found it ended quite abruptly, leaving me craving more.  I'd love to see Charlie return again in the future.
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EXCERPT: All he was doing now was licking his wounds and waiting. And looking for Shane Lambert, as he'd been doing for twenty years. The thread that remained untugged. All those fruitless leads...

And if he couldn't find Lambert, or if Lambert couldn't help, if there were no new developments, then people would continue to believe his father was guilty. Even though no body had been found. Even though there was no history of violent behaviour - barely even a cross word, since his parents had steered clear of each other, letting the divorce paperwork trickle through the system. Even though Rhys had been investigating a security van hijack that day. Just a couple of unaccounted-for hours when he was working alone, since, he'd said at the time, 'I didn't know I'd need an alibi.'

Despite all that, the theories came thick and fast. Rhys Deravin had murdered Rose Deravin because he'd have to sell Tidepool Street and give her half the proceeds. Or he'd blown his top and killed her in the heat of the moment. Or he'd killed her and hoped suspicion and blame would fall on her difficult lodger, Shane Lambert. None of these theories accounted for why her car was found abandoned out near Tooradin with a crumpled bumper, the driver's door open and her possessions scattered up and down the road. Unless... Unless Rhys Deravin, the wily out-thinker, had staged a confused and confusing crime scene because, as anyone acquainted with him could confirm, he was too smart to leave loose ends.

ABOUT 'THE WAY IT IS NOW': Charlie is living in his family’s holiday house, on forced leave since he made a mess of things at work.

Things have never been easy for Charlie. Twenty years earlier his mother went missing in the area, believed murdered. His father has always been the main suspect, though her body was never found.

Until now: the foundations are being dug for a new house on a vacant block. The skeletal remains of a child and an adult are found—and Charlie’s past comes crashing in on him.

MY THOUGHTS: Set in Menlo Beach, a Peninsula beach town of unassuming shacks dating from the 1930's an hour from Melbourne, The Way It Is Now tells the story of a burnt-out Aussie cop named Charlie Deravin.

Persona non grata with the Victoria Police, divorced from his wife and semi-estranged from his brother, Charlie has time on his hands; time to look into the disappearance of his mother twenty years earlier.

The Way it is Now is a multi-layered story of a disillusioned detective, his family, and the case he was working before being suspended. His disillusionment comes to a head one morning when he sees 'an old bloke building a sandcastle with a little girl, presumably his granddaughter; and his first thought was 'paedophile'.' Charlie realises that he doesn't see honesty and innocence anymore. All he sees is hidden motives and filth.

Disher is a master of both characters and atmosphere. You will recognize people you know in the characters in this book. You will smell the smoke of the ever present bush fires and taste the gritty ash. And you will wonder right to the last if Rhys Deravin did indeed kill his wife Rosie and dispose of her body. I did.


#TheWayitisNow #NetGalley

I: #GarryDisherAuthor @serpentstail

T: @GarryDisher @serpentstail

#australiancrimefiction #contemporaryfiction #crime #mystery

THE AUTHOR: The prolific Garry Disher is a huge name in his native Australia – he’s won the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award, and has had many fellow crime fiction writers citing him as a major influence.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Serpent's Tail/Viper/Profile Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Way it is Now by Garry Disher for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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Twenty years ago, Charlie Deravin's mother went missing, believed murdered. Her body has never been found, and his father has lived under a cloud of suspicion ever since. Now Charlie has returned to the coastal town where his mother vanished, on disciplinary leave from his job with the police sex-crimes unit, and permanent leave from his marriage. After two decades worrying away at the mystery of his mother's disappearance, he's run out of leads. Then the skeletal remains of two people are found in the excavation of a new building site... and the past comes crashing in on Charlie. It's that most engaging of treats, a big, fat, intelligent thriller. It is a first-rate crime novelist's ability to lead his readers up the garden path….
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Garry Disher's stand alone novels, always set in Australia, are just as excellent has his Hirschhausen series,  i am a huge fan of his writing. In " The way it is now" Charlie Deravain, a cop on disciplinary leave,  returns to the coastal town  where he and his brother Liam  grew up before his parents separated. Charlie's mother Rose disappeared shortly after his parents marriage fell apart but was never found.   His father Rhys always had the shadow of accusation for being responsible for her possible death hanging over him. With lots of free time on his hands Charlie starts to reopen the case on his own, ruffling more than a few feathers amongst his former police officers until two skeltons are found.  Disher is excellent at describing the noir undercurrents in family dynamics which makes this such an excellent read,  thoroughly enjoyed it.
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A stand alone novel from an author whose books are always a 'must read'. 

Senior Constable Charlie Deravin is suspended from duty and returns to his childhood home, where he becomes embroiled in a cold case investigation of his mother, who disappeared 20 years ago. Disher is on top form again penning strong and believable characters, set against a gritty day-to-day life in a small coastal town.. Quite simply one of the best crime writers around at the moment.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Serpent’s Tail/Viper/Profile Books for an advance copy of The Way It Is Now, a stand-alone set in the seaside town of Menlo Beach, Victoria.

Charlie Devarin’s mother disappeared 20 years ago and he’s been looking for her ever since. He has returned to Menlo Beach and his childhood home while suspended from the Sex Crimes Unit and decides to use his time to do more digging, but that takes a turn when two skeletons are unearthed on a building site.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Way It Is Now, which had me so engrossed I read it in one sitting. I can’t exactly say why I found it so addictive, because it’s quite slow in terms of Charlie’s investigation (normally the part I hone in on), but I think it’s because it offers a complete package of Charlie and his life at that moment, told with humour and authenticity.

The novel opens in 2000 just before his mother Rose disappears and quickly sets up the family dynamic - his mother has moved out and conversation between Charlie, his brother Liam and his father Rhys is troubled and laconic. It then fast forwards to 2020 where the family dynamic has barely changed - Rose  is gone, conversation is still laconic and old resentments are further entrenched. 

There is so much considered in the novel and so much going on that I found it fascinating. In some ways it is a coming of age for Charlie, where he learns to accept himself and his past mistakes and grow from that knowledge. At the same time it is a study in modern living with fractured relationships and new starts and the old dinosaurs still stuck in the past, a past that is coming back to haunt some of them with new forensics techniques and a reappraisal of attitudes. It even considers the effect of gentrification on an old working class town. 

Running through the novel is the case that got Charlie suspended, the prosecution of a rich, privileged young man for rape. The author absolutely nails the attitudes involved, from the entitled defendant and his friends to the victim blaming from his lawyers and various points in between. 

There is so much going on, even the bushfires and the start of Covid get an honourable mention, that the solution to Rose’s disappearance seems like just one more thing in an already riveting read. That seems a bit unfair as I would never have guessed it and it’s neat, but that’s the way it is.

The Way It Is Now is a great read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
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Recognised as one of the finest Australian novelists with over forty published books across various genres, The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher is his latest standalone crime novel. Charlie Deravin returns to his home town on the coast, as he is on disciplinary leave. He is a police detective in the sex-crimes unit, whose mother vanished twenty years ago. Still trying to find answers to the cold case, Charlie personally investigates, trying to find any new helpful information. He is also trying to deal with his personal life changes, varying family relationships and the town’s treatment of his father as a suspect. Then the discovery of skeletal remains brings the past roaring back and danger ensues. A meandering narrative with a focus on the psychology of those involved in the events, makes for a four-star rating. Whilst classic Aussie noir by a renowned author, the solving of the crime came in a rush at the end. With thanks to Serpent's Tail/Viper/Profile Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.
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This is a well written stand alone from the author. Set in Australia, Senior Constable Charlie Deravin is suspended from duty and returns to his childhood home. His mother had gone missing 20 years previously and Charlie is caught up in the cold case investigation. I loved the characterisation and the development of Charlie's character, as well as the clever plotting. It kept me guessing to the end if Charlie's dad had killed his mother. the evidence was stacking up to him being the murderer. This is a very good Aussie thriller which I would recommend. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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Charlie Deravin is a Melbourne police officer who has been suspended pending an inquiry into his assault on a superior officer.  He retreats home to his family’s beach shack.  Surfing can’t fill all the hours of his day, so he delves into the cold case investigation of his mother’s disappearance 20 years earlier.  At that time, he was a probationary officer looking into the disappearance of a young boy.  His parents had separated, and his father, also a police officer, was the main suspect.  He has always harbored suspicions about a lodger of his mother’s, and his obsession was partly responsible for the dissolution of his marriage.  

In addition to resistance to him digging into his mother’s case, Charlie is dealing with complications from a relationship with a new girlfriend.  His new love interest was a juror in the rape case of a footballer who stubbornly resisted pressure to acquit the defendant and which has to be retried after problems with jury tampering.  He and his new love interest are being harassed.  

This is well-written and structured, and deals with a lot of issues such as police corruption, toxic masculinity, and complicated family relationships and secrets.  I enjoyed the story, although the ending resolution was a bit rushed.
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I love Garry’s past books and this didn’t disappoint 
His writing was quick easy and very witty 
Really enjoyed this first NetGalley book 
Deffo would recommend
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This is my first Garry Disher and likely not my last. I'm not anti-antipodean, but I've always resisted Australian crime novels for some reason that I can't explain.

Here we meet Charlie Derivan, initially on the day of his mother's disappearance and then 20 years later. He's a man who has already hit bottom and is not trying to climb out. Someone, who unusually for a crime novel, is making his life better in the midst of things falling apart. There is a steady tone to proceedings as Disher never allows it to get too dramatic.

Suspended from his work as a police officer, his free time is taken up by looking into his mum's disappearance to the disdain of the cops still on the job. There's a lot going on in this book, but it never feels overcrowded. Disher allows the elements to run along and together as they must with no information thrown out idly.

I definitely need to check out more of his work as there is something measured in his approach that resonates with me and I feel he is striving to make his story seem life-like here. A triumph and I'd highly recommend.
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Charlie Deravins mother went missing 20 years ago she's never been found and suspicion has always fallen on her husband.Charlies marriage is over and his on disciplinary leave from his job at the police sex crime unit so he returns home.
When the skeletal remains of 2 people are found in the evacuation of a new building site will the mysterys of old be solved.
My first book by this author and I really enjoyed it,it won't be my last.
Thanks to Netgalley and Serpents Tail/Viper/Profile Books for the ARC.
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Twenty years ago when Charlie Deravin is a Probationary Constable his mother Rose goes missing, assumed murdered with the primary suspect being Charlie’s detective father Rhys with the couple being in the process of divorcing. In 2020 Charlie is on suspension from his job as a detective which gives him the opportunity to do some digging into his mother’s disappearance. To his shock and horror skeletal remains are found when foundations are dug for a new house. The past has collided with the present. 

It takes me a while to settle into this one because there’s a lot going on at the start as it’s not just Rose’s disappearance that is included. It feels disjointed but that then resolves itself with the multiple layers running smoothly and melding alongside each other and it then becomes an immersive read. 

The characterisation is very good, Charlie is interesting, he’s deep, extremely disillusioned with his job as its led him to see the worst in situations which are quite possibly totally innocent. Al characters are well fleshed out and easy to picture. 

The author deals with a number of important issues such as victim blaming and misogyny and the police culture of the past and the present day which is thought provoking. It’s a very atmospheric well written novel, it’s not quick of pace but that seems to suit the storyline. The author gives good context to the plot with the shocking and terrifyingly intense bush fires of 2019/20 and the coming virus. 

My biggest issue with it is the end as the word abrupt doesn’t quite cover it.  It feels unfinished and has left me a tad perplexed. 

Despite that, it’s still a compelling read and it’s made me want to read more by Gary Disher. 

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Serpents Tail/ Viper/ Profile Books for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
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I will, and indeed did, pick up a book just because it had Dishers name on it and not even bother read the blurb.
That's how much I like his stories.
This doesn't disappoint.
I very much liked Martin, our lead character, who was normal, reliable, caring, decent, honest and loyal. There are few like that out there.
He's still digging around into his mother's disappearance 20 years later, and this time he's getting somewhere.
It's a small town with secrets and lies a plenty, and you do begin to wonder who you can trust.
I raced through the last part of the book, desperate to find out why, who??

I hope we see Charlie again, and again and again.
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Garry Disher is an incredible Aussie crime writer as he illustrates with this standalone, set in Menlo Beach, a peninsula beach town near Melbourne, featuring Senior Constable Charlie Deravin, suspended from the Sex Crimes Unit after shoving his senior officer, Inspector Allardyce, after a mistrial was declared in the footballer Luke Kessler case. With a new trial pending, he returns to his childhood home, visited occasionally by his daughter Emma, and new girlfriend, Anna Picard, a relationship which he has high hopes for, figuring he has learnt from some of his mistakes after his marriage to Jess broke down. Where previously there was never enough time in the day, now the days fall heavy, as he encounters old cops on the beach, Mark Valente and Noel Saltash, colleagues of his father that he grew up with. 20 years ago, his mother, Rose, in the process of divorcing his police officer father, Rhys, disappeared, something he had never been able to let go of as he once again turns his attention to the very personal cold case.

Her car was discovered crashed and abandoned, her possessions littered across the road, it looked as if she had been abducted, and there was blood on her car keys. The general consensus was that his father had murdered her, something his brother Liam believed. Charlie is less certain, Rhys was not a violent man, and there had been no abuse in the marriage, through the years he has been trying to track down his mother's troublesome lodger, Shane Lambert, who disappeared soon after. At the same time, a 9 year old boy, the bullied Billy Saul went missing, assumed drowned, with Charlie part of the team under Senior Constable Frances Bekker that helped in the search for him. Now out of the blue, the excavation of a block close to his mother's home uncovers the remains of 2 dead bodies, both murdered, that turn out to be Billy and his mother. A new police investigation team is led by Bekker, a case Charlie continues to dig into, now with extra fervour, as it looks like Rhys remains the prime suspect.

Disher skilfully evokes the time period, atmospherically capturing the police and social culture of the past and the present. He documents the misogyny, the horrifying abuse and treatment of Gina Lascelles during the Kessler trial, the pressures put on everyone, including the jury, to try and ensure the acquittal of the footballer, allied with most feeble of police investigations. The character development of Charlie is stellar as can be seen with his personal growth, and his growing ability to n see himself more clearly with the more productive than expected therapy sessions. This is an outstanding crime read, well written and plotted, where every character and their lives reek of an authenticity that jumps off the page. This is a must read for those who love the crime and mystery genre, particularly Aussie crime. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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The Way It Is Now is a stand-alone novel by best-selling award-winning Australian author, Garry Disher. Detective Senior Constable Charlie Deravin has been suspended from duty. As he waits to learn his fate, he’s spending the time in the old family cottage in Menlo Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, enjoying occasional visits from his daughter and, at other times, his new lover.

It’s the perfect opportunity to do some follow-up with all those who were around when his mother went missing, twenty years earlier, and maybe track down her lodger who had a watertight alibi, but disappeared soon after. Finding that man, in the hope he might have some vitally relevant information, has consumed Charlie for all the intervening time, and cost him his marriage.

Rose Deravin’s car was found crashed, abandoned, personal belongings strewn on the road, blood on the car keys, in late January 2000. Her body has not been found. Many people, including Charlie’s older brother, Liam, believed that her soon-to-be ex-husband, Senior Sergeant Rhys Deravin, was responsible: Rhys had no alibi, claiming to be investigating a security van hold-up on his own.

On the same day, nine-year-old Billy Saul went missing from the nearby beach. His body has also not been found. Now, a pair of podcasters is in the area, asking questions, flashing photos and making everyone uneasy. Charlie’s conversations with the people tracks down reveal just what a scrappy job the police made of the initial investigation and later cold case enquiries.

And then, the excavation of the block near Rose Deravin’s house turns up the skeletal remains of two bodies.

Disher gives the reader a tightly plotted tale with red herrings, misdirections and surprises in the lead up to the exciting climax, enough to keep even the most astute reader guessing right up to the final reveal. His protagonist proves to be a man of integrity despite the mistakes he admits to: a character who is easy to cheer on. The support cast are wholly credible, the people we meet in everyday life. The dogwalker in the final scene deserves an honourable mention for quick thinking.

Disher faultlessly conveys his era and setting: his depiction of the coastal Australian town will resonate with any reader who has visited one, and his inclusion of national and world events of the time, devastating bushfires, footballers considering themselves above the law, and the emergence of a certain virus, is realistically done. Another piece of superlative Aussie crime fiction from a master of the genre.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Serpent's Tail/Viper
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