#BookReview: Paradise by Patricia Wolf @emblabooks #Paradise #BookTwitter #damppebbles

In a beach paradise, an unspeakable crime is committed. The only witness lies in a coma, fighting for her life…

Australia’s Gold Coast: On a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline, a young mother is brutally murdered and her daughter, Gabby, is left in a coma, with her life hanging in the balance.

DS Lucas Walker has just arrived in Surfer’s Paradise for some much-needed recovery after injuries sustained in his last investigation. But he is soon pulled into the dark twists and turns of this home invasion gone wrong, vowing to find the men responsible.

As Walker digs deeper into the dark underbelly of this shimmering city by the ocean, a case from his own past resurfaces, with deadly consequences.

And as eight-year-old Gabby, the sole witness her mother’s murder, wakes in her hospital bed, Walker is in a race against time to stop those responsible before they return to silence her forever…

Don’t miss the next instalment in the tense and gripping DS Lucas Walker series. Fans of The Dry by Jane Harper, Cara Hunter and Chris Whitaker will be hooked from the very first page until the final breathtaking conclusion.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Paradise by Patricia Wolf. Paradise is the second book in the DS Lucas Walker series and will be published by Embla Books in audio and digital formats tomorrow (that’s Wednesday 17th May 2023) with the paperback to follow later in the year. I chose to read a free eARC of Paradise but that has in no way influenced my review.

One of my standout reads from 2022 was the brilliant Outback by Patricia Wolf. Wolf’s debut bowled me over with its intriguing lead character, vivid outback setting and compelling storyline. So much so, I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Paradise – the second book in the DS Lucas Walker series – for the past seven months. And what a cracking follow up it is! Walker is rapidly becoming a favourite character of mine and seeing how he dealt with such a heart breaking case involving the brutal attack of an 8 year-old child and the murder of her mother was really quite captivating.

DS Lucas Walker’s future in the AFP hangs in the balance following his most recent investigation. Whilst the review board conduct an inquiry into past events, Walker has been sent by his senior officer to Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast to both heal and to share his knowledge with a local group of cops. But you can’t keep a good cop down for long and before he knows it, Walker ends up lending a hand to the locals who are investigating a brutal home invasion which left one woman dead and a young girl unconscious in hospital. Eight year old Gabby is in terrible danger as the only witness to her mother’s murder. Can Walker discover who was behind the vicious attack before they return to silence Gabby forever…

Paradise is a gripping, engaging crime thriller which I found eminently readable. It’s a complex story with threads from Walker’s past interweaving with threads from the present, but it was easy to follow and overall an ultimately satisfying read. I believe Paradise can be read as a standalone. However, you’ll have a lot more insight into things if you do pick up a copy of Outback first. The previous case is referred to often, a number of the characters you’ll meet in this book first appeared in book one, and the review into Walker’s conduct in Outback is a looming presence throughout this latest instalment. Plus if you start at the beginning you’ll get to spend more time with DS Walker and that can only be a good thing! He’s a fascinating one, for sure. A cop with a heart is quite a rare thing based on the crime fiction I’ve read in the past, so DS Walker makes a rather refreshing change. Even if he is a little reckless at times! For those of you who have read Outback, Barbara Guerra does make a number of small appearances but only by phone. I did miss the chemistry with Walker and the way Guerra and Walker worked together but perhaps we’ll get to see more of them (in the same country) in the future (here’s hoping!).

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Paradise is a suspenseful crime thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. The author has excelled at running several different storylines throughout the book, keeping the different characters and scenarios clear and easy to follow, whilst maintaining a high level of tension and intrigue. I was able to guess one aspect but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the novel at all. Plus there were other shocks and surprises along the way which I didn’t see coming. All in all, a thoroughly entertaining novel which keeps the reader on their toes and turning the pages late into the night. I loved the setting, the characters and the clever, well-drawn plot and I very much look forward to more from this author in the future. Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of Paradise. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Paradise by Patricia Wolf was published in the UK by Embla Books on 17th May 2023 and is available in audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesbookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shopdamppebbles amazon.co.uk shopdamppebbles amazon.com shop |

Patricia Wolf has been a journalist for more than 15 years, a regular contributor to titles including The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Independent and The Telegraph, among others. She grew up in outback Australia, in a mining town called Mount Isa in far north-west Queensland – eagle eyed readers will have spotted a small reference to it in her first book, OUTBACK. Patricia loves the rugged beauty, indigo sky and wide horizons of the outback, but left Australia after university to travel the world and became a journalist. She lives in Berlin, Germany, but the outback always calls her home. In 2019, just before the covid pandemic locked us all in, Patricia spent two months in northwest Queensland, taking a four-week road trip. As she drove and spent nights and days surrounded by the beauty and rugged harshness of the outback, DI Lucas Walker and his stories came to be.

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