*This book contains sensitive matter which some readers may find distressing.
The Great Divide is set-in modern-day Tasmania, in a little country town called Dunton. The main character Jake Hunter is a “blow-in” from Melbourne, a by-the-book detective who is looking for a place to lick his wounds and take a breather. However, life has other plans for him and he is soon embroiled in a complex murder mystery which gets messier by the minute. Hunter’s first day on the job is met with a call about an abandoned body in a local vineyard next to a campground. Interestingly, Owen herself is an archaeologist, which contributed beautifully to her writing around the forensics of the land on which the dead body was found.
The body is that of an elderly ex-head mistress who managed a girl’s orphanage. Hunter attempts to maintain control, whilst surrounded by his less than professional new team. However, as Hunter attempts to investigate the murder, he is met with nothing but tight lips and suspicious expressions from his team and the local community. This is a clever story of an outsider uncovering generations of hidden secrets as he pries into the private lives of these classic Aussie characters.
Meanwhile, Hunter is a character that you want to print off on a 3D printer and marry. He’s ethical to the point of causing himself pain, he’s deeply intuitive and has a seriously sexy respect for women. All of these attributes are put to the test though as he uncovers Dunton’s underworld of incest, child abuse and assault. I love a good medical thriller, and The Great Divide provides with tales of torture and complicated genetic discoveries which will leave you reeling. It is a gory read at times, that seems to only become darker by the minute. The psychological wounds that some of the characters live with are enthralling, as detective Hunter exorcises their tragic experiences of abuse.
This is an excellently well-written whodunit, which will leave you guessing all the way through. The Great Divide is a total page turner, engrossing you from the very first page to the last. A great summer read.