Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson:
Lovers of last year’s literary crime hit Wimmera should be well pleased to hear that Mark Brandi is back with The Rip, another book as astonishing and captivating as his first. The Rip is remarkably well-named. Like Wimmera, it’s a slow-burn story with a punch that you don’t see coming, set in the criminal underworld of Melbourne. In this world lives a young woman, struggling with the weight of poverty and addiction, who is clinging to the last shreds of a stable life while trying to ignore the signs that danger might be circling closer than she thought.
This is a bleak but remarkable story of survival, made exceptional by Brandi’s incredible writing. With sparse and striking prose, Brandi weaves an undercurrent of dread throughout the novel that makes us all too aware of how we are only ever a few degrees removed from a world we would rather not see. This is an unflinching look at a complicated life which shows addiction and destruction to have no prejudice. It’ll stay with you for a long time afterwards.
An urban crime novel that slowly and masterfully hooks you in... then shocks with the horrific crime and the dread that the characters you care about aren't going to make it out alive.
It's funny how quick it happens and without you really noticing. Anton said once that it's like walking out into the sea, and you think everything's fine and the water's warm, but when you turn back you're suddenly miles from shore. I've never been much of a swimmer, but I get what he means. Like, being caught in a current or something. A rip.
A young woman living on the street has to keep her wits about her.
Or her friends. But when the drugs kick in that can be hard.
Anton has been looking out for her. She was safe with him. But then Steve came along.
He had something over Anton. Must have. But he had a flat they could crash in. And gear in his pocket. And she can't stop thinking about it. A good hit makes everything all right.