The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher – review

Published by Viper Books

Publication date – 4 August 2022

Source – review copy

WHO SHALL INHERIT THE SINS OF THE FATHER?

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.

Charlie Deravin is back in his home town and his childhood home. On suspension from his job in the police sex-crimes unit, he is facing his demons and looking into the disappearance of his mother, which took place 20 years earlier. When two bodies are found from a building site near her home, Charlie soon finds himself unearthing decades old secrets that some people wish had remained buried.

Charlie has never given up trying to discover what happened to his mother all those years ago. Whilst the police investigation has gone stale, behind the scenes Charlie has been tracking down people from his past, in the hopes he may uncover the truth.

As the story progresses Charlie comes across different layers of the truth, snippets that he hopes will reveal more. His brother Liam is sure that the culprit is Rhys, their father, who was estranged from their mother at the time of her death.

Whilst the story is set on the coast, there is very much a closed room feel to the mystery. There are limited suspects and Charlie has to contend with tracking down friends and associates of his mum’s with unwelcoming and often downright antagonistic police officers who don’t welcome his interference.

This is not a novel which is full of action packed scenes and although there are some moments of peril, it is more that there is a sense of unquiet, knowing that there is likely someone close to Charlie who is willing to kill to keep secrets dead and buried.

An intriguing, entertaining tale of secrets, lies and what happens when the past comes rushing back to the present.

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