Give the Devil His Due
Rowland Sinclair #7
The 7th book in the award-winning Australian historical crime fiction Rowland Sinclair Mystery Series
When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve.
But then people start to die.
The body of a journalist covering the race is found in a House of Horrors, an English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations is killed on the race track, and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights.
A strange young reporter preoccupied with black magic, a mysterious vagabond, an up-and-coming actor by the name of Flynn, and ruthless bookmakers all add mayhem to the mix.
With danger presenting at every turn, and the brakes long since disengaged, Rowland Sinclair hurtles towards disaster with an artist, a poet and brazen sculptress along for the ride.
The sub-genre historical crime fiction is more than the re-imagining of an incident set in the past; when executed skilfully it is engaging, thought provoking and shares the authors passion for the era and their understanding of the society and culture of that period. Sulari Gentill’s passion for this era is obvious on every page. The tone, style and colour of this narrative paints an evocative and very visual account of Australian society in the 1930’s. I love reading crime fiction based in this period – the time frame is far enough removed from my life that I have no firsthand knowledge of the time yet the period is still relevant and interesting and accessible. Records still exist from that time frame: news reels, documentaries, oral histories, films, art, fashion, music etc. that allows us a glimpse of the past, it is the context, the social fabric, the political views and the mystery that this talented author weaves into the narrative that makes this work so engaging.
And did I mention great characters? I particularly enjoyed reading about Ed – Edna Higgins; a creative, talented, generous and strong individual who does not conform to societal pressures that inform how a 1930’s woman should be; she is herself.
A great read.