Author: Rowena Holloway
Fractured Press RRP $18.95
Review: Monique Mulligan

One dark secret … Two Troubled Souls…

An atmosphere of dark menace pervades Rowena Holloway’s second novel, Pieces of a Lie. Her intention to produce a book with an “Australian noir” feel has paid off, with the novel having a distinctly rough-and-ready Australian feel.

Set in South Australia’s sinister suburban underbelly, the novel brings to life a variety of strong and sometimes rather nasty characters. Mina Everton, is the novel’s heroine; the deserted daughter of an embezzler is trying to prove herself in a town that judges her by her absent father’s actions. Her plan is to set up her own antiques business, but in doing so she unearths questions about her father’s disappearance and attention from people who would do anything to keep the truth buried. Along the way she meets Detective Lincoln Drummond, who’s investigating a series of robberies. Despite his attraction to her, he has her pegged as a suspect. But is he looking at the wrong person?

Pieces of a Lie combines noir with romantic suspense and does it solidly. This, combined with the nasty characters Mina finds herself up against, plenty of twists, and a sinister environment, leads to a novel that maintains tension throughout. Who knew that the suburbs could be so seedy? The tension is less strong in the romantic side, so I’d say this has romance elements – read it more for the crime/thriller aspect. There were a couple of moments when the momentum lagged, but the overall buildup to the conclusion was great. The ending was suitably shiver-inducing.

I’m looking forward to reading more from Rowena Holloway – she’s definitely off to a good start.

Available from online bookstores in e-Book or paperback formats. You can read more about Rowena Holloway here.