Review: Hades by Candice Fox

Title: Hades

Author: Candice Fox

Published: Random House Australia January 2014

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from December 18 to 20, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy TheReadingRoom}

My Thoughts:

There is more than just the city’s refuse buried in Hades Archer junkyard and when a stranger appears at his door muttering about an accident, carrying two small bundles, he considers the land around his yard, trying to determine the best place to lay the tiny bodies to rest. Until he notices the clenched toes of a pearly white foot.
Twenty years later, Frank Bennett joins the homicide team at Bondi and is partnered with the enigmatic Eden Archer. Their first case, following up an druggie’s outlandish story, uncovers a serial murderer’s killing fields on the floor of Sydney Harbour but it is Eden and her brother, fellow detective Eric, that piques Frank’s curiousity.

Hades is a dark, gritty and challenging debut novel from Candice Fox that I laid down only under protest. Broadly crime fiction, but also combining elements of a police procedural and psychological thriller, it delves into the seething mind of a serial killer and the lives of the detectives, Frank and Eden, who are pursuing him. The plot is reasonably linear as the investigation unfolds, but also explores the nuances of right and wrong, of justice and vengeance. There is explicit violence and language, thought not gratuitous, but it is the tension that causes chills to run down your spine.

The narrative is divided between a third person perspective that reveals the past of Eden and Eric Archer and a first person point of view from Frank Bennett. The characters, much like the plot, are dark and twisted. Eden and Eric share a shocking secret, a childhood marred by an unspeakable act of violence that changed them irrevocably. The siblings are intriguing, with dark secrets that are slowly revealed as the novel unfolds. Frank is also flawed though in ways more ordinary than his new partner and while I didn’t find him particularly likeable, I did find him interesting.

The pace is compelling, the writing tight and concise and the tension high from the novel’s first pages. It builds to a stunning climax that left me breathless and eager for more.

Hades is is a gripping and exciting read journeying into a atmospheric underworld of Sydney. It may be the first book I have reviewed for 2014, but it may also prove to be my favourite for the year.

I got to chat with Candice in a Reading Room Hangout, watch it below.

Available To Purchase From

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret L. Sharp (@MargaretLynett1)
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 19:27:16

    A great start to the year!

    Reply

  2. Annie
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 07:35:41

    I think I might have to get this one for my dad – he really enjoys a gritty plot and now I want to know what secrets the brother and sister are hiding… :-) I’m glad you loved this one so much, I hope you’re luck continues for the rest of the year!

    Reply

  3. Teddyree
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 00:35:00

    You haven’t steered me wrong yet, putting it on my wishlist. Great review Shelleyrae :)

    Reply

  4. Trackback: A Day at the Random House Penguin National Book Blogger Forum 2014 | book'd out

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