Monday 13 November 2023

The Ideal Couple, by Anna Willett

I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for Anna Willett's new novel from The Book FolksThe ideal Couple.

When detectives try to close a missing persons case, a small town’s twisted secrets begin to unravel…

A couple disappear in a region of the outback known for its gold mining. Some three years on, there is still no trace of them.

Detective Veronika Pope is handed the cold case. It’s cold only in name. When she turns up to the godforsaken town where the couple were last seen, the heat is sweltering; suspicion simmering.

The detectives stay in the same seedy hotel as the couple did. The townsfolk aren’t welcoming. Nobody wants the cops probing into their affairs.

From what Pope can gather, the missing duo were the perfect couple. Loving. Happy together. The picture of marital bliss.

Assuming a murder but missing a motive, the detectives do make progress. They might even find the bodies, as the trail is hot. Almost too hot to touch.

Pope is in serious danger of getting burned…

* * *
My review:
Veronica Pope runs a cold case squad out of Perth and is called in, with her partner Jim, to investigate the disappearance of an apparently loving couple three years ago in the small outback town of Iron Creek. The red-dust coated ten streets are home to a hotel, a garage, a museum and a handful of people waiting for life to pass them by. The rest of Pope’s team are back at base, investigating the missing couple’s blended family and in-laws.

This is the fourth book in the Pope series but the first I’ve read and, apart from a couple of mentions of previous cases and a tease of her past that looks like it will be resolved in book 5, it’s a solid standalone that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Iron Creek literally comes to life, you can almost feel the heat and the oppressive dust and feel the knocks the townsfolk are taking. The characterisation is smart and brisk, giving us a life-story in a paragraph sometimes and leaving the reader to figure things out the next. The case itself is well plotted and constructed - it took me a while to get the main villain - and there’s plenty of grubbiness amongst the sweat to keep the attention as the pace crackles.

An excellent read which I would highly recommend and now I’m going to dive into the earlier cases! 

* * *

* * *
Anna Willett was born in the United Kingdom and emigrated to Australia with her family when she was six years old. She developed a love of reading thanks to her mother who introduced her to authors such as Stephen King, Mario Puzo and John Steinbeck to name just a few.

Although her reading tastes are eclectic, when it comes to writing, Anna is drawn to thrillers and dark tales. Anna writes about the shadowy side of the human experience and how ordinary people cope in extraordinary situations. Common tropes in Anna’s writing include people who get into trouble after they leave the safety of the city and the rupturing of domestic bubbles in which those who one is supposed to trust become a threat.

Anna lives in Western Australia with her husband and their two children. When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoy movies, dining out and bushwalking with her dogs.

THE IDEAL COUPLE is the fourth title in the Cold Case Mysteries series featuring Veronika Pope and the full list of books is as follows:


* * *

* * *