Reviews

The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland

serenityofbooks's review

Go to review page

4.0

**3.5 Stars**

I’m a big fan of Aussie crime books and The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland is a great new discovery in the genre I love.

Jesse Redpath has just moved to the rural Victorian town of Satellite and started her new job with the local police. On her first shift, she’s out helping the rural fire brigade protect the town from a huge storm thrashing the area when they discover a local has been killed in what looks like an accident, but Jesse’s instincts tell her there’s more to it. Nash Rankin is a disgraced former cop who is trying to live a quite life in the bush until he meets Jesse by accident and trouble follows.

I was hooked into the storyline from the first page and loved the character of Jesse Redpath who was first featured in 2021’s Canticle Creek. Even though this is the second book in the series, it easily worked as a standalone. The investigation heads in lots of directions from cults to serial killers some adding depth to the storyline, but others felt a little excessive. A real highlight for me was the atmospheric Australian bush setting with all its native fauna and the pacing of this book was excellent which as a reader I much prefer over the slow burn.

A big thank you to Ultimo Press for sending this one my way for honest review and introducing me to an Aussie author I haven’t read before but look forward to reading more of in the future.

marusik_'s review

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

lachiedunq's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

naenaeg's review

Go to review page

mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

mackenzierenee22's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark informative mysterious tense medium-paced

5.0

caroclaw's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

hayfarmer's review

Go to review page

adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

kcfromaustcrime's review

Go to review page

5.0

In Adrian Hyland’s latest crime novel, Jesse Redpath is back, stationed in a new town during a time of stormy weather. Review at: Newtown Review of Books


shelleyrae's review

Go to review page

adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

4.75

The Wiregrass is another excellent instalment in Adrian Hyland’s Australian crime series featuring maverick Senior Constable Jesse Redpath. 

Set a year or so after the events in Canticle Creek, Jesse has transferred from the Territory to the Windmark Ranges in Victoria where she’s been appointed as the officer-in-charge at the small rural town of Satellite. She’s still familiarising herself with the area when a wild storm lashes the mountain, and she responds to a horrific accident where a tree has crushed a man in a tractor. There’s something about the scene that nags at Jesse, and when she returns later it’s clear to her that the tree was deliberately felled. 

Jesse is an intuitive and determined investigator, but also impulsive and headstrong, which is how she comes to be in the bed of the victims neighbour when the Special Operations Group burst through the door the next morning. She should be horrified, but despite only having met Nash Rankin the night before, and some damning evidence suggesting his guilt, Jesse’s certain he is innocent, and sets out to prove it.

There’s plenty of tension and action in The Wiregrass as Jesse starts to dig for alternative motives and puts some nasty and dangerous characters off side. Despite being warned off, and more that one attempt on her life, she refuses to stop pushing for the truth. The plot is clever and complex, with multiple suspects including drug dealers, dodgy operators, and cultists in the mix. I was caught up in the mystery, eager for Jesse’s instincts to prevail and Nash to be exonerated.

As I have come to expect from Hyland the setting of The Wiregrass is effortlessly atmospheric, evoking the bleak, wintry weather and dense bush of the Victorian ranges.

A captivating and absorbing novel, The Wiregrass is a terrific read, and I’m already looking forward to the next.

henrymarlene's review

Go to review page

4.0

Australian crime fiction is fantastic. I have read so many books by Australian authors in this genre that are such standouts, and easily run rings around many international authors. The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland is an example of this. This was my first foray into the tales of Detective Jesse Redpath, the officer in charge in the remote Satellite Station in Victoria. I felt waterlogged and damp reading about her dilapidated cabin, full of holes and leaking rain, and a rat named Rupert.
From saving the life of a young women in a flooding storm, Jess and a fellow police officer (Lance) discover a dead man, Raph Cambric, killed by a fallingtree. The only problem is that this was not a tree falling from the impact from a storm: Raph was murdered, and Jesse is determine to uncover why. Jeses is then caught up in flagrante delicto (oh yes!) with Nash Rankin who is accused of the murder, because of his past where he killed a man he was a police officer (yep!) investigating baddies and a cult, all of which holding lifelong grudges against Nash, as Jesse discovers. Just from these events alone, this book is full of connections and intersections, with so much happening with a very short space of time. It captured my undivided attention and I ended up reading this over a short period of time, because I just did not want to stop between chapters. The weather elements highlighted the unpredictability of the land and many of the not-so-nice characters in the local area. It captured Nash’s past despair and loneliness, as well the overflowing rush of sexual connection between Jesse and Nash. It also had a redeeming and cathartic quality about it, washing away the evil to discover the truth.

The traditional Aboriginal tracking insights that Jesse utilises, with her father’s art knowledge, and the sidekick of Flinders the dog (owned by Nash) were intricate additions that complemented the story and landscape. Jesse’s ability to manoeuvre through tricky situations and uncover elements of evidence that the local police offers did not see were refreshing. Highly recommended - a fabulous book, available from 29 November 2023. Thank you to @ultimopress for the #gifted copy. This will not be my last Adrian Hyland book!