Review: Roll With It by Nick Place


Title: Roll With It

Author: Nick Place

Published: Hardie Grant March 2013

Status: Read from April 06 to 07, 2013 — I own a copy{Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I couldn’t resist the premise of Roll With It, an Australian debut novel combining crime, action and humour. Author Nick Place introduces Major Crime Detective Tony ‘Rocket’ Laver who is plunged in the midst of a professional and personal crisis after shooting a suspect dead in self defense. As the sixth Victorian officer to do so in as many months, Laver becomes a political scapegoat and is swiftly reassigned to the Mobile Public Interaction Squad, forced to don a neon jacket and bike pants to patrol the streets of Melbourne on a mountain bike.

The intention of the Brass is to keep Laver out of the way and out of trouble but in between needling his earnest rookie partners, giving the wrong directions to backpackers and endless cups of coffee, his well tuned cop instincts finds something not quite right about two men menacing a hippie chick and her buttoned up admirer. Laver starts poking around convinced the ginger heavy and his companion, known as Wild Man and Stig are up to no good but without the resources of the force he has no idea just what he is getting into.

As Laver wanders around in professional Siberia, the case twists and turns revealing surprising links between a suburban supermarket store, a rainbow warrior runaway and a fiery car crash in Queensland. Though the plot isn’t difficult to predict it’s enjoyable to follow Laver Melbourne’s CBD as he tries to put the pieces together. Anyone familiar with the city is likely to enjoy the familiarity of the environs, and those who are not will appreciate the distinctly Australian flavour.

The narrative follows Laver, Stig and Wild Man and Jake, a supermarket manager assistant whose crush on beatnik Lou results in him unwittingly becoming tangled in the case. I think I would have preferred for the perspective to stay with Laver as I really enjoyed the cynical, wry humour of the hard edged cop, I particularly liked his observations of his colleagues in the ‘bike’ police. Laver is not just a cop though and his demotion plus his frustration at being ignored by the Brass spills over into his personal life, and not for the first time. Already a failed husband and father, his current fiance isn’t all sympathetic to his current predicament.

Roll With It is an entertaining read, there is enough intrigue and action to provide an interesting story and plenty of humour to amuse. I hope to see Tony Laver hot on the trail of some more bad guys soon.

Available to Purchase

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Via Booko


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Australian Bookshelf
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 19:41:19

    I couldn’t take on this read because of lack of time at the moment but I really liked the sound of it as it seems to be along similar lines to The Robbers that we both read a little while back. I’ll have to put this one on my wishlist after your great review Shelleyrae!



  2. kate
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 21:25:49

    Read it – it’s a keeper



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