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Book DetailsISBN: 9781760877415
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Book Review: Trust by Chris Hammer - Reviewed by Sarah (08 Nov 2020)
I honestly think Trust, Chris Hammer's third instalment in his Martin Scarsden series is the best yet! In Trust, Hammer takes us away from the rural and regional settings of Scrublands and Silver, to the high-stakes world of banking and property development in Sydney. Martin is dramatically reeled back in to his former life as a well-connected investigative journalist when Manderlay is abducted from their idyllic home at Port Silver. He follows hot on her trail south to Sydney and begins uncovering a sordid story of money laundering, underworld connections and secret society backroom deals in the merchant bank for whom Mandy worked, years before they met. While I've found Hammer's ability to capture the nuances of the harsh Australian landscape and the struggles of regional Australia superlative in his previous works, I really enjoyed the gritty urban setting he employs in Trust. His own history as a high-ranking political and international affairs journalist really shines through, both in his characterisation of Martin Scarsden and in the complex plotting of this novel. This is a well-constructed and engrossing novel, with many multi-faceted central and supporting characters and plenty of edge-of-your seat action. I really can't recommend Trust highly enough to all readers who enjoy contemporary Australian thrillers, political intrigue or just a rollicking good read. That said, there are multiple scenes depicting fairly graphic violence, which may present an obstacle for some readers. Many thanks to the author and publisher Allen & Unwin for granting me the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this title.
Book Review: Trust by Chris Hammer - Reviewed by CloggieA (09 Oct 2020)
Trust is the third book in the Martin Scarsden series by award-winning Australian author Chris Hammer. Five years ago, before Mandalay Blonde had met Martin Scarsden, she was engaged to a lawyer, Tarquin Molloy. He’d got her a job as a clerk at Mollisons Investment Bank, a job she lost when he disappeared overseas with a lot of the bank’s money. She’s avoided thinking about the whole awful thing since.
Martin is unaware. Then a voicemail scream sends him rushing back to their Port Silver house, to find Mandy abducted and an unconscious police detective lying on their loungeroom floor. With that, he and Mandy are both thrown into the aftermath of past events.
Homicide cop Morris Montifore arrives with questions, and some answers: apparently the embezzler’s remains have recently been found in the foundations of a five-year-old Parramatta apartment building. He also reveals that Molloy was an undercover cop.
By the time he and Mandy have been reunited in Sydney, Martin learns that his closest friend, a journalist with an explosive story in the works, has been killed. Their plan to return to the safety of Port Silver is delayed: Martin feels duty-bound to find out why his good friend and mentor was murdered; and, out of a misplaced sense of guilt, Mandy wants to know what really happened to Tarquin.
From there, it’s a roller-coaster ride: Martin’s Sydney apartment is trashed and burgled; he and Mandy find themselves dealing with infected phones, and navigating, thanks to a very cluey computer geek, the deep web and the cloud; they encounter petty crooks, crooked cops and a Chicago mobster; there’s an exclusive dinner club that indulges in more than meals, a gun battle in Sydney street, and, within mere pages, three crooks express a desire for Martin to clear their names.
The narratives alternate between Martin and Mandy, and describe a tangled web that involves lies, secrets, a seemingly universal lack of trust, murder, blackmail, corruption, and nepotism. ASIO gets involved and by the end of the novel, there’s a very blood-thirsty scene and, ultimately, quite a high body count of innocents, the less-than-innocent and the definitely guilty.
Mandy proves she has been singularly bad at judging who to trust; maybe she’s finally got it right with Martin? The setting Hammer has chosen for this third installment, with its plentiful mentions of Sydney locations, will certainly appeal to those who know the city. Once again, an excellent Aussie crime thriller. This unbiased review from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen&Unwin.
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