cover image Whispering Death

Whispering Death

Garry Disher. Soho Crime, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-61695-174-0

pcMajor budget cuts hamper the investigations of Insp. Hal Challis in Ned Kelly Award%E2%80%93winner Disher's solid sixth novel featuring the Melbourne cop (after 2009's Blood Moon). Challis has two difficult cases to crack: a sophisticated cat burglar who diligently researches her targets and commits her thefts far from home is at large; and a man wearing a police uniform is sexually assaulting women. After Challis mouths off about the effect on his department of the diminished resources to a reporter covering the serial rapes, his professional future is jeopardized, adding another, and unneeded, layer of pressure, even as it remains unclear whether the rapist is a colleague or just posing as one. As with the best procedurals, this book succeeds in its vivid portrayals of Challis's supporting cast, humanizing the officers who have to deal with pain and suffering almost nonstop. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Dec.)