Book Review – “Sinister Intent” by Karen M Davis

Book Review - "Sinister Intent" by Karen M Davis

I must admit that I enjoy crime novels. My all time favourite series is the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly. They just have great characterisation, a lovely poetic yet economical style, and good stories.

Anyway, during my convalescence I tried to read a paper based book for about half an hour each day (I figured that it would not strain my eyes too much). And one of the books that I read was “Sinister Intent” by Karen M Davis.

The novel is set in Sydney, Australia and very much has the Aussie crime feel to it. Do you know what I mean by that? Well, in my opinion each country has a unique style to its crime. You can tell this by their television crime shows. British and American crime shows – very different. And so are Aussie ones. I cannot really express how they feel different – they just do. I suspect that English ones have characters who are a bit more cynical and American characterisations are a bit more up beat. (This is a generalisation). And Aussie crime? Well, Australia always got its television dramas from both the UK and the US, so its own cop shows seem to display influences from both sides of the Atlantic. I think they also reflect our more casual and flippant approach to life. Does this make sense?

The plot is fairly basic. Essentially a young female policewoman had a traumatic experience in the uniform section of the Force and has now moved into the plain clothes Detective unit. The traumatic experience involved a biker gang and now in the Detective unit she finds herself confronting a different biker gang. Hence part of the conflict of the novel is her inner, psychological struggle to overcome past fears. She also finds herself working in the same unit as the former partner of her deceased brother (who had also been a cop). So more bad memories to overcome. And finally, a bit of mutual attraction sparks with the unit stud causing the sensitive reader to want to slap her around the head with a wet fish and say “wake up to yourself”.

But what about the actual crime? After all, it is a crime novel. Basically someone has killed a biker and someone from another biker gang is a suspect. So not only does the crime need solving but the two gangs need to be kept from starting a war.

What did I like about this novel?

I felt that the pace was good. There was very little lingering in scenes – it just kept moving. I also enjoyed most of the dialogue which tended to accurately reflect the characters and also give a sense of place. The writing was succinct and easy to read. And, as I said earlier, it did evoke emotional responses from me (hand me a wet fish please, I have some slapping to do).

What didn’t I like?

Without giving any spoilers, I did feel that one character’s behaviour and thoughts in the early part of the novel were inconsistent with a partial reveal at the end. This grated. But I guess that because the reveal was at the end I was still able to enjoy the novel as a whole.

As far as I can tell this is the first in the series and I do look forward to reading more.

Anyway, if you like crime novels then give it a try. :)

Thanks for reading.

Greg