55 ~ A Book by James Delargy
Genre: Thriller/ Mystery
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (April 2019)
Swathi’s Rating: 5/5
Verdict: utterly addictive, multi-layered and atmospheric
*** There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55? ***
A thriller with a killer hook, and an ending that will make you gasp!
Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.
All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.
He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.
Heath is a serial killer.
As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.
Gabriel is the serial killer.
Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?Amazon
When I first heard of this book and the plot, I knew I HAD to read it. It has multiple murders, a remote location and a small town with secrets and history! What more to ask?! One sitting was all it took for me to complete this utterly thrilling, addictive book and don’t even get me started on that ending!! It was just “WOW”.
When a ruffed up wounded man shows up in the Willbrook Police Station, Sergeant Chandler is intrigued by the story he recites. That he was kidnapped by a serial killer, drugged and tied in a cabin up on the barren hills. Somehow he managed to get the cuffs free and try to escape, only to run across rectangular patches on the ground which resembled GRAVES!! he also claims, the killer wanted to kill him and be his number “55”.
Just as the small town Sergeant manages to let the news of a killer being loose on his own town and endangering the lives of his people sink in, another man looking as wounded as the Man No 1 visits the station reciting the same story he heard an hour ago!!
2 men, 1 victim and 1 killer. But which is which?
Soon Chandler is forced to inform the HQ and gets invaded by his old friend who is now Inspector Mitchell and his team. Chandler’s investigative skills are tested as the clock ticks before the real killer strikes again.
The plot also goes back to explore a case that Mitch and Chandler worked on when they were rookies. A case of a missing hiker who got lost in the barren scrublands but was never found. James Delargy does a brilliant job exploring each of his characters, building the depths to the plot and finally connecting them together to reveal his biggest twist. I loved the atmosphere and description of the small town West Australia. Hot and lack of humidity, the location could be of vital importance to a plot like this. This novel is another great addition to my recently found love for Aussie Noir! Highly recommended thriller of the year.
Many thanks to Rhiannon and Simon and Schuster for the gorgeous copy. All opinions are mine.
James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland and lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi-rural England where he now lives. He incorporates this diverse knowledge of towns, cities, landscape and culture picked up on his travels into his writing. 55 is his first novel.
He masterfully paints the picture of a remote Western Australian town and its people, swallowed whole by the hunt for a serial killer. This novel has been sold in 19 countries so far and has just been optioned for film.