Review: The Deep by Kyle Perry


Title: The Deep

Author: Kyle Perry

Published: 2nd July 2021, Penguin Books Australia

Status: Read August 2021 courtesy Penguin Australia



My Thoughts:


“Black wind at morning, sailors take warning. Black wind at night, death is in sight.”

On the southern coast of Tasmania, the Dempsey family empire in Shacktown has been built not only on their monopoly of abalone fishing licenses but on their illicit drug importation business. Davy Dempsey has been the head of the family operations since his older brother, Jesse and his wife and son, vanished seven years ago, but when Jesse’s son, Forest, washes up on the beach, exhibiting signs of physical and emotional trauma, the Dempsey’s are thrown into crisis. Sensing vulnerability, a fearsome rival makes a move while family loyalties are tested and unraveling secrets threaten to swamp them all.

Kyle Perry’s second novel, The Deep, plunges readers into a turbulent, gritty, atmospheric story of betrayal, corruption, loyalty and redemption. It offers more than one mystery and several stunning twists as the members of the Dempsey family take sides in a battle for the business, and their lives. Issues such as morality, masculinity, family violence, the drug trade, and addiction are explored through a fairly large cast of characters.

The tale unfolds primarily from the perspectives of Mackerel (Mackenzie) Dempsey, the younger brother of Jesse and Davy, and the black sheep of the family; the Dempsey brothers uncle, Ahab Dempsey, who despises the drug business; and the now teenage Forest Dempsey. The Dempsey family speak of a curse that plagues their men – great success will be followed by a spectacular fall – but it’s hardly a surprise given the dangerous businesses the Dempsey’s are in, not to mention their disturbingly dysfunctional family dynamic. Perry’s characters are complex, and mostly deeply flawed, some irredeemably so, such as the Dempsey matriarch Ivy, and her two eldest sons.

I didn’t find The Deep to be as compelling as The Bluffs if I am honest, it was a little slow to start and I was probably close to halfway through the novel before I was fully invested, but from that point on, I was reluctant to put it down.


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Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry


Title: The Bluffs

Author: Kyle Perry

Published: July 2nd 2020, Michael Joseph

Status: Read July 2020, courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Au


My Thoughts:


When a teacher is attacked and four teenage girls go missing in the dense wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers during a school excursion, the residents of Limestone Creek, angry and frightened, are quick to assign blame. Some suspect a local drug dealer is responsible, others speculate one of the girls has a guilty lover, while it suits the sister of a missing girl to reanimate the legend of ‘The Hungry Man’, a killer said to stalk the Tiers.

Unfolding largely from the perspectives of three characters, teacher Eliza Ellis, the father of a missing girl, Jordan Murphy, and the investigating detective, Con Badenhorst, the fast paced narrative builds tension and intrigue from the very first, hinting at deception, betrayal, corruption, and explosive secrets.

The insinuation of the supernatural plays perfectly against the contemporary elements, with recognisable inspiration drawn from Picnic at Hanging Rock, the legend of Slenderman, and the case of Michelle Carter, tied in with Aboriginal legend.

Perry effortlessly evokes a visceral response to the dense bushland of the bluffs in which the girls go missing, and the small town it shadows. The area’s erratic weather reflects the mood of the insular community, and the development of the investigation.

Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. A stunning debut from Kyle Perry, The Bluffs is an atmospheric, and compelling tale with twists and turns that will keep you wondering about the fate of the girls to the very last pages.



Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository