BOOK CLUB: After the Flood

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“After the Flood” is an interesting Australian crime story from experienced writer Dave
Warner
.

It’s very similar in tone to Warner’s earlier novels, and is a low-key but absorbing depiction of a complex investigation in a remote part of Australia.

In Broome it’s been a while since Detective Inspector Dan Clement had a particularly difficult or interesting case. He’s half hankering after the challenge, and half relieved that nothing too bad is going on in the region.

Almost as soon as he thinks this, of course, he finds himself faced with the death of an anonymous young man who’s been crucified and then run over with a vehicle. It’s a kind of death he’s never seen before.

That’s not the only thing on Clement’s plate. His team were already looking into vandalism at the Child Health Clinic, and an unrelated theft of explosives from a mining company.

However, it eventually seems that there might be links between these very different crimes…

I found this low key because it lacks the dramatics that some crime novels go in for; there wasn’t a cliffhanger or crisis every few chapters. Instead, it builds momentum so that the tension really takes hold in the last third of the novel, until it reaches the climax.

It’s almost understated in the early chapters. That heightens the sense of realism, though; surely a real investigation would involve a great deal of routine and even some boring work. This even, low key tone is something I think of as a hallmark of Warner’s writing.

It’s a little unusual for crime novels, but it works very well. The end result is a novel that feels like it sits between a crime novel and a literary novel.

It was only after I finished “After the Flood” that I realised it is the third novel featuring Dan Clement. It wasn’t obvious, and didn’t impinge at all on my enjoyment. Characterization is strong, there wasn’t a sense of big gaps in the background, and the story was easy to follow.

No doubt there would be benefits to reading the earlier novels – mostly, I suspect, in developing the relationships between the team members or in the plot strand that looks at Dan’s personal life. However, it was no problem at all picking this up cold.

I enjoyed this a lot. It’s a relatively short novel, and despite the low key tone, it packs quite a
punch in that time. The red herrings are excellent, and few readers will completely work out
what’s going on until Warner decides it’s time to reveal all.

It bounces between characters in a way that manages to be both illuminating and subtly misleading, depending on Warner’s intent.

I’d recommend this to most crime readers, but particularly those who want tension and a puzzle with high stakes, while steering clear of a sensationalist writing style. This is a really satisfying read: a well constructed plot, a well drawn setting, and strong characters.

ISBN: 9781760 991012
Copy courtesy of Fremantle Press (2022)

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading After the Flood by Dave
Warner. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

3 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: After the Flood

  1. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Fremantle Press for the opportunity to read and review After The Flood by Dave Warner.
    This novel was the first Dave Warner book I have had the privilege to read but I will definitely be purchasing his other novels in this series and his other books.

    I really liked the book and found the lead characters very likeable and found the book hard to put down.
    I loved that I got to sort of ‘see’ and read about a part of Australia that I have not been lucky enough to visit yet.
    It was also good to read about how different the police resources are over there.

    I don’t want to give too much away but it was a great crime thriller that was set in a beautiful part of the world and had plenty of twists and turns.

    I highly recommend this book.

  2. I was so excited to receive this one. All in all, a really good book especially seeing that it is not the first in a series with Detective Dan Clement as the main character but it is easy to read as a stand alone book.

    I enjoyed the back ground information, the slow build up to the main event but I did however, find it a bit confusing when I wasn’t sure, until I started reading and got thru a few lines, which character the chapter was from so I felt a bit like it was going back and forth.

    The storyline was great, leading you up to the end of the book, really well thought out, characters were believable and insightful and I would be happy to read more books by Dave Warner.

  3. I dont normally read Crime Stories as they can become hard to follow , but After the Flood by Dave Warner was a exceptional read it was both interesting and a great story based in Western Australia Broome which I am familiar with and could picture the minesite and town.
    A bit of thriller and a good storyline I liked the characters used .
    Thankyou Beauty and Lace for the chance to read this intriguing crime story.

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