Review: Prisoner by S.R. White


Title: Prisoner

Author: S.R. White

Published: 31st August 2021, Headline

Status: Read October 2021 courtesy Hachette Australia


My Thoughts:

From ex-UK police officer now Queensland resident S.R. White, comes Prisoner, his second novel to feature Detective Dana Russo.

When the body of Curtis Monroe is found brutally murdered on the edge of a swamp barely twenty four hours after his release from prison, Detective Dana Russo and her team find they have more than one avenue of investigation. Having served just six years of a nine year sentence for rape, it’s possible revenge is a motive for the grisly killing, or perhaps it’s punishment for a jailhouse transgression, and Monroe’s crucification a warning. Sisters, Suzanne and Marika Doyle, seem to be the least likely suspects, but the proximity of their home to the crime scene, and their recent contact with the victim, stirs curiousity in Russo.

Unfolding over a period of 36 hours, Russo leads an investigation that considers multiple targets, methodically assessing the clues and evidence the team gathers. Creating a plausible narrative from the information they develop proves more difficult than they expect however, and it’s the gaps that take on significance as the case deepens. White’s intricate plotting is impressive as the team patiently works to expose the dark truth behind the crime. ‘Why’ is ultimately a much more stunning proposition than ‘who’.

I enjoy being privy to the procedures of the investigation, though White admits he takes some liberty with a particular law the team utilise. Each member of the squad has a specific role in the case, but they also function as a cohesive unit. In Prisoner, station head, Bill, is away at a conference and Russo feels the pressure of his absence, especially as internal politics rear their head. Russo is a skilful interrogator whose methods are somewhat unusual but effective. Guided in large part by intuition, the process is emotionally taxing for her, particularly when she draws on her own traumatic past to affect a breakthrough. Fellow detective, Mike, and administrative assistant, Lucy, are wonderful returning characters, while newcomer Ali, struggles to fit in. Glimpses of the team’s personal lives, including a somewhat surprising developing romantic relationship, adds depth to the story.

A clever, finely crafted work of crime fiction, Prisoner is an absorbing read, and I look forward to seeing how the series develops.


Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via

Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Northwoman
    Nov 07, 2021 @ 03:49:07

    I’m sure I would enjoy this one.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  3. Helen Murdoch
    Nov 08, 2021 @ 14:05:47

    This sounds good and I like that the author is someone in the business so they can accurately write about police work.

    Liked by 1 person


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