Review: Black Cloud by Sandi Wallace


Title: Black Cloud {Georgie Harvey and John Franklin #4}

Author: Sandi Wallace

Published: 22nd July 2020, Gumshoe Press

Status: Read October 2020 courtesy the author


My Thoughts:

Black Cloud is the fourth book in Sandi Wallace’s crime fiction series featuring journalist Georgie Harvey and police officer John Franklin.

Wallace has been on my radar for quite some time, so I welcomed the invitation to read and review Black Cloud. Had I the time, I would have read the previous novels in the series as I think familiarity with the characters would have enhanced my reading experience, nevertheless the plot of this book works as a standalone.

Set around Daylesford in rural Victoria, Black Cloud begins with a bang, literally, as a family home explodes. Among the first responders is John Franklin who is horrified to discover two of his colleagues, and friends, were caught in the blast while carrying out a routine welfare check. One is dead, and the other badly injured, so too is a community nurse and when the blaze if finally brought under control, the bodies of all four members of the Murray family are discovered inside the home.

From its dramatic opening scenes, Black Cloud unfolds at a fast pace as the investigation into the explosion begins in earnest. Franklin exhausts himself, physically and emotionally, as he interviews the family, neighbours, and friends of the deceased, searching for evidence that may explain the tragedy.

Georgie is equally distressed by the disaster, and though distracted somewhat by her ongoing investigation related to the accidental drowning of a local farmer she considers suspicious, she makes some inquiries of her own. Unexpectedly she uncovers a link between both incidents, but she needs Franklin’s help to determine if it’s simply more than a coincidence.

Franklin and Georgie are romantic partners, but this incident places strain on their relationship with Franklin avoiding Georgie as a way of avoiding his own emotions. Wallace’s portrayal of Franklin’s grief is nuanced and authentic, as is Georgie’s concern for his well-being, and hurt feelings from being shut out. The lack of communication also affects how the case plays out, as it’s only by exchanging information that the tragedy can be solved.

With its intriguing storyline and appealing characters, Black Cloud is a great read. I’m determined to get my hands on Sandi Wallace’s backlist, and I’d recommend those who enjoy rural Australian crime fiction do the same.


Available from your Amazon store AU I US I UK or Book Depository 

Or purchase a signed paperback from Sandi Wallace

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linda S Moore
    Oct 24, 2020 @ 09:14:12

    This book sounds very good.
    Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  3. Anne - Books of My Heart
    Oct 26, 2020 @ 09:23:57

    Wonderful review! I’m sure I’d like this one.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Helen Murdoch
    Oct 26, 2020 @ 11:06:56

    Another good one! I like that it starts with such a startling event.

    Liked by 1 person


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