Thank to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this exciting thriller.
Into the Void
How easy is it for a man to simply disappear?
When rural banker Richard Harper is reported missing, DSS John (Archie) Baldrick and DC Ben Travers are drawn into the tangled details of the man’s life. Would Harper really have chosen to leave his seriously ill wife, and abandon his pregnant girlfriend? Or is there a real threat behind the abusive emails he’d been receiving from desperate clients in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis?
On the home front, Archie’s marriage is rocky and his two teenage daughters are giving him all sorts of trouble. The frail but beautiful Helena Harper and her magnificent house offer an oasis of calm as Archie struggles to discover who is responsible for her husband’s disappearance. Has he really been abducted, tortured or killed? Or is Richard Harper himself behind everything that has happened?
Archie and Travers ultimately face a race against time as the case descends into a bewildering morass of obsession, violence and murder.
Longlisted for the 2019 Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize for an Unpublished Novel
Finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best First Novel
Some thrillers start with a bang and get more and more frenetic. Others begin quetly and keep getting better and better with every page. Christina O’Reilly’s Into the Void is one of them.
The mystery of a forty-two year old married banker who left his home to go on a business trip to Aukland and vanished into thin air should have been easy to solve. Richard left a wife undergoing chemotherapy treatments (what kind of man would do that) and a pregnant mistress (apparently he was delighted with the news)- perhaps, the stress of leading the double life had got to him and he simply ran away from his troubles? DSS Archie Baldrick and his partner Ben Travers suspect there is more to the case. When Lisa Carpenter, Richard’s pregnant girlfriend, is brutally attacked and later murdered, Archie feels guilty for not having taken enough precautions to protect her. He is not a man to give up easily, although the lack of progress is frustrating and it isn’t easy to admit it to increasingly more fragile Mrs Harper.
What makes this police procedural stand out is the second storyline: Archie’s messy, chaotic family – his super easy-going wife Jenna and his teenage daughters Summer and Alicia. Anybody who’s trying to raise a teenager and deal with their growing desire for independence will recognise the familiar parental scenes. All characters, main and secondary (even Mrs Harper’s cleaner) are well-written and I can only hope that Into the Void is the beginning of a new series and we’ll get to meet them again.
Although the book is quite short, the plot is well-developed and all the loose ends were tied in in the end. Did I guess the criminal mastermind behind the events- yes, I did, but I was also thoroughly entertained and happy to lose myself in this gripping whodunnit. The Devil is always in details, and Christina O’Reilly knows how to paint a picture with a few well-chosen words.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. Don’t miss it, it’s a good one.
Thank you to Rachel and the author for the review copy gifted with no expectation of a favourable review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Christina is an author and proofreader living in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Several of her short stories have been published in anthologies, most recently in Fresh Ink: A Collection of Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand 2019. Into the Void is her first crime novel and was longlisted for the Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize in 2019. It is also a finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best First Novel.
Thank you for reading the post. Please, check out what other bloggers thought of Christina O’Reilly’s book:
Have a great Wednesday!