Review: The Fallback by D.L. Hicks

Title: The Fallback

Author: D.L. Hicks

Published: 31st May 2022, Pantera Press

Status: Read June 2022 courtesy Pantera Press/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

The Fallback is the second crime novel from Australian police officer and author, DL Hicks, and while there are loose links with his debut, The Devil Inside, it reads well as a stand alone.

When Detective Senior Constable John Darken learns that the body of Eric Johnstone, a former CI placed in the witness protection program, has been found tied to the oyster beds in the small town community of Point Imlay, he volunteers to help the locals investigate. Teamed with city homicide detective Emma Capsteen, early evidence suggests that Eric (aka Rufus O’Keefe) may have blown his second chance and gotten on the wrong side of a local bikie gang, but then a second body is discovered with similar injuries and the police struggle to see a connection.

This is a well paced police procedural, as Darken, Capsteen and their local colleagues try to discover why Eric was killed and who is responsible. The drug dealing members of the Sixers and Niners are an obvious suspect, given Eric is a junkie, but Hicks presents several plausible red herrings that muddy the officers investigation. There are some tense moments for the main characters and some interesting surprises as the story unfolds, but it’s just as it all seems resolved, that Hicks makes a stunning reveal I didn’t see coming.

Darken is a likeable lead character. He is a little fragile, dealing with the recent death of his partner in the line of duty and in the midst of a divorce, but a good investigator, and a good man. I liked Emma too, she’s smart and no nonsense, and I enjoyed the hint of romance that developed between them.

I thought Eric’s perspective was an interesting facet of the novel that provided insights the police investigation couldn’t. He is a surprisingly sympathetic character, more self destructive, than villainous.

Well crafted with a gripping mystery and interesting characters, The Fallback is a great read, and I hope to read more from Hicks.


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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WendyW
    Aug 21, 2022 @ 03:29:37

    Nice review! I like that the victim has a POV in this one.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Anne - Books of My Heart
    Aug 21, 2022 @ 05:11:39

    I think I would enjoy this series.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Helen Murdoch
    Aug 22, 2022 @ 06:47:38

    I like the idea of someone who knows the business writing a novel about it. I haven’t read his books, but they sound good.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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