Peace by Garry Disher [8/10]

Garry Disher is a national treasure, a writer of subtlety and prodigious narrative control. “Peace” is the second in a murder mystery series set in the dry farming land of South Australia, starring Hirsch (aka Sergeant Paul Hirschhausen), a newbie in a small country town. None of your standard crime fiction tics for Hirsch: he is a decent, hardworking cop with a sharp mind. Disher is brilliant at setting the scene and bringing this unforgiving area of Australia to life, and in “Peace” he takes his time building up a tapestry of crimes, minor and then, dramatically, most major. The final third is a rollercoaster of investigation and action. A large array of characters, all people I’m sure you recognize, sparkles amidst Hirsch’s relentless pursuit of hard-won justice. Disher does not waste a word and the pages tumble under the reader’s eye; this is late-night compulsion. One of my favorite mystery reads in 2020.

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