Nick Harding is an idealistic Private Investigator, trying to eke out a living after a spectacularly boring career in Financial Crimes with the Australian Federal Police.
The very recent widow of the billionaire founder of Dvorak Kars -- Australia's first and only EV manufacturer -- hires him to root out the fraud costing what is now her company upwards of $5 million a month over the past year.
Nick reluctantly takes the case -- we all have bills to pay -- and quickly realises that the beatings, excessive running and cars on fire are barely compensated by the healthy day rate and the opportunity to drive one of the sweet, sweet Dvorak convertibles.
With suspects to spare -- the wife, the head of security, the corporate CFO -- will he figure out how millions of dollars are disappearing before he runs out of time?
Of course he will.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
I would like to thank Netgalley and Beech Nut Press for an advance copy of Batteries not Included, the first novel to feature Sydney based PI Nick Harding. Andy Goh, head of Dvorak Kars, the only electric car manufacturer in Australia, wants to hire Nick to look into money disappearing from his company but he is killed just before their first meeting. His widow, Kirra, asks Nick to take the job. He is reluctant but the generous daily allowance wins him over. I thoroughly enjoyed Batteries not Included, which is a short, fun read, more novella than novel length. The plot revolves around trying to find out how the money is disappearing when the books don’t show a loss or an obvious theft. This requires hands on attention rather than computer work, so Nick and his sidekick, Davie, see the inside of the hospital more than they would like. The theft is sophisticated enough to fool the average reader, but I suspect that business people wouldn’t be fooled, so that ends up baked into the plot. It’s clever. Yes, there is violence and a certain amount of bad language but this is a warm, amusing novel that lit up my boring day. Much of that is due to Nick and Davie and their genuine friendship and down to earth dialogue. Batteries not Included is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.