Triumphant Debut Crime: Read Our Review of The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

Triumphant Debut Crime: Read Our Review of The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

‘So you believed the alleged rapists over the alleged victim?’ Jane’s voice took on an indignant pitch. ‘Girls lie sometimes.’ I nodded. ‘And rapists lie all the time.’

When Senior Detective Antigone Pollard moves to the coastal town of Deception Bay, she is still in shock and grief. Back in Melbourne, one of her cases had gone catastrophically wrong, and to escape the guilt and the haunting memories, she’d requested a transfer to the quiet town she’d grown up in.

But there are some things you can’t run from. A month into her new life, she is targeted by a would-be rapist at the pub, and realises why there have been no convictions following a spate of similar sexual attacks in the surrounding district. The male witnesses in the pub back her attacker and even her boss doesn’t believe her.

Hers is the first reported case in Deception Bay, but soon there are more. As Antigone searches for answers, she encounters a wall of silence in the town built of secrets and denial and fear. The women of Deception Bay are scared and the law is not on their side. The nightmare has followed her home.

Vikki Petraitis is best known for her true crime writing, including The Frankston Murders, a bestselling book about serial killer Paul Denyer, and her first book, The Phillip Island Murder. As a true crime writer, Petraitis has covered everything from police dogs to Lawyer X, the Russell Street bombing and sex crimes. Now she has drawn on thirty years of true crime writing and investigating to create her debut fiction novel, The Unbelieved. It’s a chilling, timely and gripping read that was also the recipient of the inaugural Allen & Unwin Crime Fiction Prize.

The novel centres around a series of sexual assaults in the small town of Deception Bay. These assaults have largely gone unreported, or, when a victim does attempt to speak up, they’re not taken seriously, blamed and shamed back into silence. Enter Antigone Pollard, a tough-as-nails detective who, despite receiving pushback from her boss, the judicial system and local residents, will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice. What follows is a pacy, action-packed thriller, crackling with suspense and packed with a satisfying number of twists and turns.

At its heart though, The Unbelieved is a thought-provoking novel ripped straight from the headlines that shines a light on the pervasive nature of sexual assault and gender-based violence in Australia today. It examines the consequences when women aren’t believed and the struggle for justice in a flawed system.

The Unbelieved is a triumphant debut, ushering in Petraitis as a formidable new voice in Australian crime fiction. If you read any crime novel this year, make it this one.

Buy a copy of The Unbelieved here.

Reviews

Must Read Crime Fiction: Read an Extract of The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

Review | Extract

4 August 2022

Must Read Crime Fiction: Read an Extract of The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

    Your Preview Verdict: The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

    Review | Preview

    28 July 2022

    Your Preview Verdict: The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

      Publisher details

      The Unbelieved
      Author
      Vikki Petraitis
      Publisher
      Allen & Unwin
      Genre
      Fiction
      Released
      02 August, 2022
      ISBN
      9781761067396

      Synopsis

      When Senior Detective Antigone Pollard moves to the coastal town of Deception Bay, she is still in shock and grief. Back in Melbourne, one of her cases had gone catastrophically wrong, and to escape the guilt and the haunting memories, she'd requested a transfer to the quiet town she'd grown up in.

      But there are some things you can't run from. A month into her new life, she is targeted by a would-be rapist at the pub, and realises why there have been no convictions following a spate of similar sexual attacks in the surrounding district. The male witnesses in the pub back her attacker and even her boss doesn't believe her.

      Hers is the first reported case in Deception Bay, but soon there are more. As Antigone searches for answers, she encounters a wall of silence in the town built of secrets and denial and fear. The women of Deception Bay are scared and the law is not on their side. The nightmare has followed her home.

      Chilling, timely and gripping, The Unbelieved takes us behind the headlines to a small-town world that is all too real - and introduces us to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

      Vikki Petraitis
      About the author

      Vikki Petraitis

      Vikki Petraitis is best known for her true crime books including the bestselling book The Frankston Murders about serial killer Paul Denyer, and her first book, The Phillip Island Murder, which has been featured in several TV shows and podcasts. In her true crime books, Vikki has covered everything from police dogs to Lawyer X, the Russell Street bombing and sex crimes. Her expertise lies in interviewing police and victims to create compelling narratives. In recent years, Vikki has made two hugely successful podcast series with Casefile Presents, which have topped charts around the world and been downloaded millions of times. She is now working with the Casefile team developing new true crime projects. Vikki began a PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University in 2017 in order to continue to expand her writing skills. She brought thirty years of true crime writing and investigating to create her first work of fiction, The Unbelieved. In a parallel career, Vikki is also a teacher with a Master's degree in IT Education. She runs creative writing workshops and short courses in schools and local libraries. She is also a popular presenter, well-known for her compelling true crime talks and keynote addresses.

      Books by Vikki Petraitis

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