Into the Void is a fascinating short mystery by Christina O’Reilly.
What I Liked
The characters are very well developed in such a short space. Poor Archie, the lead detective, is such a sad sack with his problem back, problem children, and a wife who has checked out of her role in their family. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His wife, Jenna, on the other hand, left much to be desired. She makes me angry and sad with her lack of interest in being a parent and the responsibilities that come with the job. Everything about her reeks of a mid-life crisis and an affair, but that is never shown within the story. But Archie has a lot to his character. He is caring and fair, humble yet resolute- just the kind of person I want to have protect me from all the bad guys of the world.
What I Wish
The mystery was a bit predictable, and I wish there were some shocking moments to surprise me. Perhaps even a little more suspense and thrills to make the pages turn a bit faster.
To Read or Not to Read
All in all, Into the Void, is a unique short mystery story that captured my attention and kept me engrossed in its unveiling.
About the Book
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Longlisted for the 2019 Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize for an Unpublished Novel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
Or readers can email Christina via her website www.christinaoreilly.com or her Facebook page Christina O’Reilly – Author for a paperback copy.
About the Author
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.
See my “About me” on my site.