Wednesday 29 December 2021

Book Review: Crocodile Tears by Alan Carter

Crocodile Tears
Alan Carter
from the winner of the Ngaio Marsh Awards 
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Publication date: December 2021
Series: Cato Kwong #5
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Pages: 336
RRP: $ 32.99 AUD
Format read: paperback
Source: Beauty and Lace Book Club
About the book
 Detective Philip ‘Cato’ Kwong is investigating the death of a retiree found hacked to pieces in his suburban home. The trail leads to Timor-Leste, with its recent blood-soaked history. There, he reunites with an old frenemy, the spook Rory Driscoll who, in Cato’s experience, has always occupied a hazy moral terrain.
Resourceful, multilingual, and hard as nails, Rory has been the government's go-to guy when things get sticky in the Asia-Pacific. Now Rory wants out. But first he’s needed to chaperone a motley group of whistleblowers with a price on their heads. And there’s one on his, too.
My review: 
My first introduction to Cato Kwong was with Getting Warmer which is book #2. I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t feel it imperative to read book #1. However with Crocodile Tears book #5 I did feel like I had missed something. I do have books #3 & #4 on my shelf. I just haven’t found that every elusive time to read them.
I loved the Australianisms in Crocodile Tears, shown through the language, scenery and general laid back attitude of the characters.
Alan Carter has given his readers a twisty political thriller that has multiple plot lines running through it. I was intrigued to see how the different plots would come together and Carter managed to tie them all in nicely, pulling out surprise after surprise.
Returning nightmares and a reliance on anxiety medication see Cato in a bad way. However he still gives the case his all. He likes to get to the real answers and won’t let go of a case until he is totally satisfied, often putting his own life in danger. I didn’t see the humour of his previous book with the jams that Cato found himself in. He was more broken in this book and I assume this was Carter’s way of ending the series although I did find it a sad ending to Cato’s illustrious career.
The plot moves from Perth to Tasmania, Darwin and Timor-Leste. A fast paced police procedural that involves murder, greed, ambition, hatred and spies. No one can be trusted and strings are being pulled by Government authorities to suit their own agenda.
Crocodile Tears was my first introduction to Rory Driscoll; a likeable anti-hero who came across as a good bloke. He professes that he is retired, happy to spend his days fishing, but I would love to see him have his own series.
Although I am sad to see him go, I found Crocodile Tears an acceptable end to the Cato Kwong series.
My rating 4 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author 

Alan Carter is an award-winning crime author and sometimes television documentary director. His Cato Kwong series – Prime Cut, Getting Warmer and Bad Seed – has been published in the UK, France, Germany and Spain. His latest novel, Marlborough Man, is set in New Zealand. Alan was born in Sunderland, UK and immigrated to Australia in 1991. These days he divides his time between his house near the beach in Fremantle and a hobby farm up a remote valley in New Zealand. In his spare time he follows a black line up and down the local swimming pool. Alan Carter has won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel (2018) and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction (2011).
Challenges entered: Aussie Author Challenge
                                 Cloak and Dagger Challenge


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