I started reading The Inheritance by Gabriel Bergmoser before realising it featured a character who’d appeared in The Hunted, released in 2020. It’s certainly not a sequel however, and previous knowledge isn’t required.
I didn’t like The Hunted as much as most because it dipped a little too much into the horror genre for my taste. I can cope with books about serial killers and psychopaths but Bergmoser has the impressive (if not entirely welcome to me!) talent of putting readers amidst action; which is often very violent and visceral.
by Gabriel Bergmoser
Published by HarperCollins
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Horror, Thriller / Suspense
A young woman is hiding out in a sleepy North Queensland tourist town, trying to stay under the radar, when she stumbles across a dangerous drug cartel. Anyone else might back away shaking their head, pretend they hadn't seen anything, keep quiet, even though people are getting hurt. But Maggie is no ordinary girl. She's got skills, as well as plenty of secrets to keep, burdens to carry - and anger to burn.
When circumstances mean that she has to get out of town - fast - she heads towards Melbourne, where she just might find the answers that she needs - answers about her family and who she really is. With a bent cop for a dubious ally, the police tracking her and furious bikers on her trail, Maggie is in deep trouble. She's only got her ingenuity and wits on her side - and a determination not to inherit the sins of her father.
The Inheritance reintroduces Maggie, who we met in The Hunted, but here we learn her backstory and get to know her better.
I sometimes get frustrated when a heap of bad things fall upon one character. It’s the case here with Maggie who – at one point – has several baddies after her for completely different reasons.
Firstly there’s the manner in which she last saw her father – a former cop, turned alcoholic who lost custody of his daughter after years of abuse. Then it seems the actions of (the same) now-deceased father may have put her in harm’s way. Ostensibly it’s because she will receive the key to his house (her inheritance). I must confess I didn’t find it completely logical that the men she’s dealing with would need her or the key however, when it’d be easier to break in to his house and storage unit themselves. *shrugs*
And then there are drug dealers she (ahem) took on because they threatened her boss.
It means, when she’s attacked – which happens regularly – she’s never sure who’s behind it. And it’s a good thing she doesn’t trust easily because she really does get screwed over again and again.
I really liked Maggie so felt a sense of affrontary on her behalf at times. She’s honest about the fact that – briefly – she tried to live a normal life but discovered she’s more like her violent and obsessive father than she realised.
It takes Bergmoser a while to relay the events of Maggie’s past (at University) that force her to come to this conclusion, so I didn’t fully understand her unquestioning commitment to violence, revenge and anarchy earlier in the book.
As in The Hunted, there’s an element of gratutious violence I struggle with here. The body count must be enormous and I understand that Maggie feels justified taking out the bad guys in a Kevin McCallister Home Alone-style self defence but her kills aren’t ALWAYS with cause and she knows this. It’s about retribution and most of it is retaliation for stuff she herself has brought-on, and she and her many foes are stuck in a never-ending cycle. Attack / defend. Rinse. Repeat.
It’s interesting that Bergmoser introduces older men in both books who play a protective patriarchal role. Here it’s former colleagues of her father. Who know secrets about him she doesn’t and can shed light on the man he was before he became embittered, drunk and abusive.
I also like that there’s some introspection. Here it’s not only Maggie who has been affected by the life her father led, as his former cop buddies have similar – but different – experiences with their own offspring.
I mentioned in my review of The Hunted that Bergmoser is extremely talented at setting up a scene and directing the action. I can definitely see these books transitioning to the screen – big or small – and would certainly watch a series featuring Maggie.
The Inheritance by Gabriel Bergmoser was published in Australia by Harper Collins and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.