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Dead Again

Dead Again 1

by Sandi Wallace
Publication Date: 01/04/2017
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.95 $27.95
Journalist, Georgie Harvey, is on assignment in Bullock to cover the two year anniversary since wildfires ravaged the town. Daylesford cop, John Franklin, is investigating a spree of burglaries. When Georgie's story connects with Franklin's, conflict arises and she discovers the appalling truth about a family man missing since the fires.
Crime & Mystery
Publication Date:
Atlas Productions
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • brilliant sequel!

    by on

    Dead Again is the second book in the rural crime series which features Georgie Harvey and John Franklin, by award-winning Australian author, Sandi Wallace. It’s eight months since writer, Georgie Harvey almost died in Daylesford, and now she’s back there to put her demons to rest. Just a quick trip before she heads off to the town of Bullock for the story her editor expects. She wasn’t planning to see John Franklin, but in their chance encounter, she makes it clear there is no future for them.

    Her reception in Bullock is less than friendly: her story about the fires that devastated the small community almost two years ago is seen as “you’re here to pick off our scabs”. Georgie wants to “manage this sensitively and write a feature that’ll do your community proud” but forty-six lives were lost in Bullock to fires that were deliberately lit, and feelings remain raw. As she searches for an angle that will give her an original story without completely alienating this tight-knit community, she learns of a possible missing person case.

    Ally Goyne’s grief for the loss of her dad, Warren is compounded by the absence of a body to bury. Talking about Warren to those who knew him, Georgie starts to wonder if he actually died in the fire. And if not, where is he now? If not, why has no one heard from him? Is this the story she is looking for?

    In Daylesford, Senior Constable John Franklin is kept busy with break-ins, burglaries, vandalism and graffiti. And a pub brawl that escalates into a nasty vendetta, as these things can tend to do in small towns. On top of this, he has to sensitively manage a young female probationary constable with a serious case of Franklin-hero-worship.

    Once again, Wallace gives the reader an original plot with plenty of action and a heart-thumping climax. The narrative is split into three: Georgie and Franklin carry the bulk of the story; an unnamed older male living rough, obviously carrying a huge load of guilt, provides a different perspective. She manages to include a bit of good detective work, plenty of examples illustrating aspects unique to small town country policing, and even a bit of romance.

    Her characters are appealing: these are the ordinary people one encounters every day in a country town. They are essentially good folk, for all their human failings. Franklin may, on occasion, be disappointed in his own behaviour, but it is easy to award him respect for his professional integrity and his dedication as a single parent.

    The banter between characters is natural and often funny, as is the inner monologue of the main characters. Wallace captures the feel of country Victoria beautifully both with her descriptive prose and the local characters that inhabit Daylesford and Bullock, many of whom are an absolute delight, in particular the serial prowler reporter, the very resourceful schoolkids and the stationmaster.

    In this story, Wallace raises several thought-provoking and topical themes: how the devastation visited upon a rural community is further complicated for survivors when the damage proves due to arsonists, loading suspicion on top of survivor guilt; whether rebuilding should happen in fire-prone areas; the long-term effect on surviving family, friends and neighbours of losing absolutely everything, including those often forgotten things (photos, memorabilia) that we rely on to jog our memory; the lack of closure when missing remains preclude a funeral.

    As this is the second book of a series, events in the first book are referred to, but there are no spoilers and this one can easily be read as a stand-alone. Of course, readers who enjoy this book are bound to want to go back to the brilliant first book in the series, Tell Me Why. And while sequels to brilliant first books are often fraught with expectations, readers can be assured that this is another five-star read.
    With thanks to the author for this uncorrected proof copy to read and review.