Outback (by Patricia Wolf)


DS Lucas Walker is currently on leave from the organised crime unit of the Australian police force to take care of his ailing grandmother in his hometown, Caloodie. However, when two young German backpackers disappear from the area on their way to a nearby ranch, Walker finds himself taking an unofficial interest in the case. Despite the lack of concern from the authorities, Walker remains convinced that there is more at play, especially as he has witnessed the growing drug trade in Australia’s remote interior. When the missing girl’s sister, a detective herself from Berlin, arrives in Caloodie, Walker finds himself working alongside her to solve the mystery.

Patricia Wolf expertly sets the scene and atmosphere in the opening chapters, painting a vivid picture of the searing heat, flat straight roads, isolation, and barren landscape of the Australian outback. Her detailed descriptions allow readers to fully immerse themselves in the setting and experience the harsh conditions of the unforgiving environment.

As the search for the missing couple intensifies, the pace of the book slows down a bit. The disappearance is initially dismissed as just another case of backpackers abandoning their plans to escape to the coast. However, things pick up again when the missing girl’s sister, Barbara, arrives on the scene determined to find her sister before it’s too late.

The character development in the book is excellent, with both Walker and Barbara being well-rounded and likable characters. The close relationship that Walker shares with his grandmother is heartwarming, and the way the Walker family embraces and supports Barbara is touching.

The story unfolds from multiple viewpoints, including Walker’s, Barbara’s, Rita’s, and the abductor’s, making it an interesting and engaging read. The book ends on a cliffhanger, leaving readers wondering what direction future books in the series will take.

The author describes the Outback in rich tones – you get the dry unbearable heat and the vastness of the Australian Outback. The residents somehow survive in this environment but it is a daily struggle. How do they have the energy to chase and fight?

Overall, Patricia Wolf’s “Outback” is an enjoyable and absorbing read primarily as it is set in the backdrop of the Australian outback. The plot, however, is a fairly routine story about a serial killer. It is the characters and setting that make it somewhat different.  With its vivid descriptions of the outback, excellent character development, and multiple viewpoints, it is sure to keep readers engaged until the very end.

This is an Amazon First Reads

rdrstr rosetterdrstr rosetterdrstr rosette

Leave a Reply and spread the word!