Tuesday, August 29, 2017


GOOD COP BAD COP by Gus Mitchell (2016)

Reviewed by Karen Chisholm

Detective Jim Kelleher's daughter Annie is a teenage prostitute who's addicted to crystal meth but in his eyes she's still a lamb being preyed upon by wolves. He feels she's far too close to her Polynesian gangster boyfriend and the motorcycle gang and the triads he deals drugs with... and is there even some more forbidden cargo? Meanwhile, Jim's new partner Stuart has the unenviable task of trying to stop Jim from falling victim to the same temptations he's trying to save his daughter from.

A take on a noir romp with stylised good cop/bad cop characters, humour is a huge part of GOOD COP BAD COP. Therein lies probably the biggest problem; find it funny and it's going to work really well. Find it somewhat forced and the misogyny and objectification comes across as a bit creepy.

Tackling a range of current day issues, from meth addiction to sex trafficking, there's a lot of sexual politics at the heart of GOOD COP BAD COP into the bargain.

Whilst there's an interesting dynamic going on between the Good and the Bad cop of the title, you will need to deploy a hefty serving of disbelief suspension. Whether or not readers can handle that is going to be well and truly dictated by personal taste and whether or not the overall tone works for them.

Karen Chisholm is one of Australia's leading crime reviewers. She created Aust Crime Fiction in 2006, reviews for Newtown Review of Books, and is a Judge of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and the Ned Kelly Awards. She kindly shares and republishes her reviews of crime and thriller novels written by New Zealanders on Crime Watch as well as on Aust Crime Fiction

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