Saturday, May 31, 2014
Review: BEAMS FALLING by PM Newton
Reviewed by Craig Sisterson
A tainted Sydney suburb simmers to vicious life, full of murk and menace, as Detective Nhu ‘Ned’ Kelley returns in PM Newton’s sophomore crime thriller. The follow-up to 2010’s brilliant The Old School sees the part-Vietnamese cop struggling to recover from the finale of that book, her body and mind scarred and torn.
A hero in the eyes of the top brass, if not all her colleagues, Nhu is tabbed for light duties as the token Asian officer on a task force investigating Cabramatta’s immigrant population; part of the ‘war on drugs’. Politics, power, and personalities swirl as the cops scramble to investigate a daylight hit on a schoolboy. Violence lurks where the ra choi rule; teenage thieves, drug dealers, and killers roaming the streets. Nhu secretly wants to springboard an investigation towards Old Man Liu, an elderly kingpin long marked for her own vengeance, but instead can barely stay afloat amongst her own wounds, historic and new.
Beams Falling is a superb novel that is as much about trauma and healing, corruption and cleansing, as it is about solving a mystery. World class crime writing, set Downunder.