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Feature book: Dead Horse Gap

25 May 2022

Dead Horse Gap by Lee Christine

Series: Alpine #3
Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 1 Feb 2022
Publisher: ‎Allen & Unwin
Format: ebook and print
Length: 288 pages
RRP: $21.81 (ebook); $29.99 (print)

Talk about a heart-in-mouth beginning! The prologue features a horrifying plane crash in NSW’s Snowy Mountains, at an airport closed for the night, so no lights to guide the plane in. I was hooked.

Foul play is immediately suspected. Someone knew that plane was coming in and seems to have rolled a bulky tractor onto the runway. Unlit, it would only be seen seconds before the plane slammed into it, with no chance to avoid it. Who knew the plane was coming in? Why did they do it? And why was the plane landing there in secret?

Sydney Homicide’s Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder and Detective Constable Mitchell Flowers are called in to investigate. This is the third book in this series set in the Snowy Mountains, after Charlotte Pass and Crackenback. I was at a slight disadvantage at first, not having read the first two books. But I soon warmed to both Pierce and Mitch, and also Detective Constable Nerida Sterling. She’s working undercover to probe into a drug ring operating in the area, and continuing investigations into the previous death of a police informant.

Of the three police, I found Nerida’s situation to be the most perilous. Working undercover must be isolating and sometimes terrifying. So close to the criminals they suspect, yet always trying to get closer for information, and so laying themselves open to danger and the risk of exposure as police.

As Pierce and Mitch probe the crash, some people cooperate, others not so much. Patchy information is offered up, often with a wary or evasive attitude. Pierce and Mitch very quickly uncover a feud between two local, prominent families that goes back several generations. On the surface all is well, but the feud still resonates uneasily through both families. Although they seem civil on the surface, history—and an ongoing future situation—plays its part in keeping the feud alive for some. It’s all about land ownership, of course, and access to that land. And money.

Starting with the fiery plane crash, tangled up with drugs and land and money, the book gallops on almost without drawing breath. Loads of twists and turns. Danger is everywhere, offering a complex and thrilling story that makes for compelling reading. Who knew the Snowy Mountains was such a hot-bed of crime and drama? What a great story!

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

  1. 25 May 2022 8:48 am

    I read the first two and they’re very good. Love reading about a setting I’m familiar with. Plan to read this one too.

  2. 25 May 2022 8:47 am

    Many thanks Malvina and ARRA for reviewing Dead Horse Gap. Very pleased that you enjoyed the story. 😊 What a great review!

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