Dana Russo, an Australian detective working out in the wilds, is having a bad day. In fact, it's the same bad day she has every year as the events of a personal anniversary surface to challenge her will to live. When a local shopkeeper is murdered early that morning, it proves to be a distraction from her inner struggles, though she'll remain haunted by them whatever happens.
The chief suspect is a man who won't talk. He's in a state of shock and is in no fit state to open up. It's only when Russo interviews him and a bond is formed that they can begin to communicate. Even when they do, it turns out that the man has been living off grid for most of his adult life and is entirely invisible to the state.
It takes an immense amount of skill for the detective to get her man to talk, but even her talent wouldn't be enough if they didn't recognise something of their mutual suffering in each other. Neither can quite work out what the link is, but their bond grows as they spend time together.
The rest of the team are busy trying to work out where he's come from, as well as supporting their colleague and untangling each of the loose strands to the case.
All options are plausible and the aspect of the case are intriguing enough to keep any fan of the police procedural hooked. What takes this to another level are the surges of emotional engagement for the reader in terms of both detective and prime suspect. It's hypnotising and tense and as much as I wanted to get to the core of the case, the direction of the story makes it clear that this isn't going to be an easy thing to deal with.
I believe Hermit (US) is a first novel and there are elements where this is apparent, especially regarding the levels of Russo's introspection and the maintenance of that particular thread (for me, it eventually moves past it's sell-by date), That said, this is a powerful read and a recommended one. What's exciting is that there might be more books to come- this would be a great platform in the series- and if it is, I think I'll enjoy watching it evolve.
Check it out.