Book review: The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman

Saturday, February 27, 2016 Permalink

It’d been a while since I’d read any of Joy Dettman’s work but over a decade or so ago I raced through many of her early novels. I was living overseas at the time (and / or just returned to Oz) so her work managed to slip through my (quite irrational – in retrospect) ‘no Australian novels’ net.

Book review: The Silent Inheritance by Joy DettmanThe Silent Inheritance
by Joy Dettman
Published by Macmillan Australia
on February 23rd 2016
Source: PanMacmillan
Genres: Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1743540140; 9781743540145
Pages: 416

Sarah Carter, mother of twelve-year-old Marni, is raising her daughter alone in a small granny flat in suburban Melbourne. A serial killer, dubbed 'The Freeway Killer', is headline news and when Marni's classmate is abducted from the mall where Sarah and Marni shop, their city no longer feels safe.

Detective Ross Hunter's investigation into the abduction leads him to dead ends - until an unrelated incident sends him to the door of Freddy Adam-Jones, an unscrupulous barrister, who is guarding a secret that could ruin his life.

When an unexpected windfall changes the lives of Sarah and Marni, their sudden wealth opens doors long closed, and threatens to cast light on history better left buried.

What might Sarah's past reveal? What is her connection to Freddy? And can Detective Ross Hunter discover the link in time to save a young girl's life?

Dettman writes this book via several threads. It’s in third person from several points of view. As per the blurb, there’s the very delightful Marni and her mum Sarah, who’s just been passed over for a position at work which SHOULD have been hers. We quickly learn Sarah has her secrets and has struggled as a single mother to keep afloat, financially.

And then there’s Freddy who’s defending the arrogant son of a friend and having troubles with his own. He’s fought his way out of mediocrity and is now sitting pretty, financially.

In addition to Detective Ross Hunter, we spend some time with the latest victim of The Freeway Killer. The man who’s killed several girls has finally made a mistake and Ross and his colleagues have some clues to work with. But they’re in the clichéd ‘race against time’ to find the latest victim before she also ends up in plastic bags (responsibly double-bagged however! #sorry) by the freeway.

I have to admit I struggled during the early stages of this novel. It initially moved very slowly and I wasn’t sure the threads would ever really come together. They do, but some are a bit tenuous. They make sense, but some of the secrets do not. I wondered if I missed something… a phrase or two which might have better explained them, but I don’t think that was the case.

Despite a few plot glitches however, the ending was ‘edge of your seat’ stuff. The book’s well-written and the characters are great and it was wonderful to again spend some time with this Aussie author.

The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman is now available via PanMacmillan.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. 

  • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
    February 27, 2016

    I really enjoy this kind of mystery, Debbie, but things do have to make sense. And lately, I’m not really into anything too slow paced for some reason. I think I’d really enjoy Marni, though, because delightful 12-year-olds are awesome!
    Great review 🙂 Have a fantastic weekend!

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2016

      Marnie is great and it’s hard to say why as we learn something about Sarah early on, which I think is supposed to be a surprise.

      And yes, for me there were just a couple of things from Sarah’s past which didn’t quite make sense… or need to be that secretive.

  • kimbacaffeinate
    February 28, 2016

    I love when a series of unrelated threads/people ar woven together for the reveal, but not sure the execution of this is one I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing Debbie

    • Debbish
      February 28, 2016

      I haven’t read many (any actually) other reviews of this yet so not sure if it was just me… must check out Goodreads to see if anyone else struggled in the same way!

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