➸ Before It Breaks Free ➮ Author Dave Warner – Thomashillier.co.uk

Before It Breaks Winner Of The Australian Crime Writers Association Ned Kelly Award For Best FictionDetective Inspector Daniel Clement Is Back In Broome, The Tropical Town Where He Grew Up, Licking His Wounds From A Busted Marriage And Struggling To Be Impressed By His New Team Of Small Town, Inexperienced Cops But Stagnation And Lethargy Soon Give Way To A Case With Urgent Purpose On The Edge Of The Desert, A Man Is Found Dead In A Crocodile Infested Watering Hole And He Is Only The First The Connection Between The Victims Is Elusive, But Clement Must Pursue It As A Decades Old Mystery Begins To Unravel And A Monster Cyclone Brews On The Horizon


10 thoughts on “Before It Breaks

  1. says:

    Sometimes the world is very kind to a dedicated fan of Australian Crime fiction, particularly when two new books from authors that we ve not heard from for a very long time arrive Peter Doyle and Dave Warner each played their part, many years ago, in engaging an interest in our own stories and voices.The release of BEFORE IT BREAKS caused excitement and slight trepidation Slight trepidation because Warner s earlier Andrew Lizard Zirk series Murder in the Groove, Murder in the Frame and Murd Sometimes the world is very kind to a dedicated fan of Australian Crime fiction, particularly when two new books from authors that we ve not heard from for a very long time arrive Peter Doyle and Dave Warner each played their part, many years ago, in engaging an interest in our own stories and voices.The release of BEFORE IT BREAKS caused excitement and slight trepidation Slight trepidation because Warner s earlier Andrew Lizard Zirk series Murder in the Groove, Murder in the Frame and Murder Off Season has always been a nostalgic favourite, as are Exxxpresso and City of Light Now having read it, this new book, the first since the early 2000 s, has to be the start of a new series, featuring Detective Daniel Clement, set in Broome, because it s well bloody near pitch perfect.The increasing use of remote settings for crime fiction coming out of Western Australia is proving to be a field well worth mining pun intended The starkness of the landscape, and the way that the heat and massive climate variations affect daily life provide a real tension that s not so apparent where the worst that s going to happen elsewhere is it s cold in winter and hot in summer The title also has a nice multi meaning going on it can refer to the breaking of a case, marriages and relationships splintering and lives going pear shaped, just as much as it does refer to the impending cyclone, at the same time as a killer breaks cover There is much that s standard fare in BEFORE IT BREAKS A cop dealing with the fallout from a broken marriage, feeling out of sorts and lost after returning to the town of his childhood, to stay close to his young daughter Reconnecting with old friends and places it s obvious that Clement feels his return is acknowledging some failure on his part Finding that his childhood friends that stayed might not be high flyers but seem content is disconcerting, making Clement feelandlike a fish out of water, not sure what it is that he wants out of life anyGoing from shop lifting, fielding drunks and the odd brawl to a major murder investigation createstension, as things quickly escalate Starting out with the murder of a local, low level drug dealer a retired German cop in really weird circumstances, then the death of a bikie figure, through to a disappearance right on the verge of the cyclone hitting town, really puts the local powers that be on edge Which means that they ve got in the ear of the higher ups and Perth starts huffing and puffing about extra resources, and taking over the cases Unsurprisingly there s quite a bit of sensitivity about a serial killer and a cyclone in a tourist town like Broome But the biggest problem in solving this case is motive who on earth would want to kill a seemingly harmless old German man whose biggest sin appears to be a bit of low level, cost effective dope dealing about town How BEFORE IT BREAKS deals with the standard elements, intermixed with a seriously bizarre series of deaths is what makes this story work The interweaving of the standard bits of life good and bad makes everything absolutely believable Whilst there are all these mad, weird things going on in what s basically a small town, life around it goes on Parents age, relationships with ex wives can be part longing part loathing, and mothers in laws are often a mind field The contrast between the day to day bit of being human, and the seriously screwed up things those self same humans can do to each other, shows life can be a tricky undertaking.That s not to say that character utterly dominates in BEFORE IT BREAKS There s action aplenty, and the scenes, in the teeth of a cyclone, chasing a killer down flooded roads and through wet bush are part of a climax that will keep you on the edge of your seat There s plenty of moments where you wonder who is going to survive, and there s lots of reminders that no matter how far away it might seem, the past can come back to bite lots of people in the most unexpected ways.http www.austcrimefiction.org revie


  2. says:

    Clement is a beat down West Australian cop who has ended up in Broome, wifeless, childless and with a sick Mum Things go downhill for him from thereA serial killer has arrived in Broome and he starts with a small time local weed dealer, takes out a hard core bikie and then kidnaps a local resident with a colourful past Clement spends most of the novel clueless though Warner nicely helps us as the reader put the pieces together long before Clement does.There is another character in the boo Clement is a beat down West Australian cop who has ended up in Broome, wifeless, childless and with a sick Mum Things go downhill for him from thereA serial killer has arrived in Broome and he starts with a small time local weed dealer, takes out a hard core bikie and then kidnaps a local resident with a colourful past Clement spends most of the novel clueless though Warner nicely helps us as the reader put the pieces together long before Clement does.There is another character in the book and it is one I wish Warner had madeout of As the investigation progresses a cyclone is approaching the Broome coast It doesn t make its presence felt until the last third of the book and it would have been welcome earlier, as it adds a brooding, threatening ominousness is that a word to the tone and tempo of the book The final chapters in which the murderer and Clement battle it out in the midst of the raging cyclone are fantastic.This is also a book where you find yourself highlighting great Warnerian passages At least I did Here are a couple This was the way up here, night fallinglike a guillotine than a handkerchief All life after forty was regret there was something about weight, the arithmetic of subtraction, the use of absence to deduce past reality, omission as a dynamic principle.Great Australian crime writing and a welcome return from Dave Warner


  3. says:

    Gun detective Dan Clement leaves his career in Perth behind and moves to the remote coastal town of Broome to be near his daughter and his estranged wife, with whom he hopes to reconcile one day Being used to the facilities and high level personnel of the city, Dan tends to think of his colleagues as hicks and the local police department as pretty sub standard.When a local German immigrant is found murdered in a nearby waterhole, Dan is forced to manage a homicide investigation using the meagre Gun detective Dan Clement leaves his career in Perth behind and moves to the remote coastal town of Broome to be near his daughter and his estranged wife, with whom he hopes to reconcile one day Being used to the facilities and high level personnel of the city, Dan tends to think of his colleagues as hicks and the local police department as pretty sub standard.When a local German immigrant is found murdered in a nearby waterhole, Dan is forced to manage a homicide investigation using the meagre resources available to him The plot thickens quickly, with apparent involvement of local bikies and some drug running Dan is also trying to chase down the victim s German connections, after he is revealed to be a former policeman As the situation becomesentangled and progressdifficult, Dan gets to feel the pressure of having his former city mates take away his investigation.While all this is going on Dan is making feeble attempts to patch things up with his ex wife and preserve his father daughter relationship.This book is a middling crime drama that lacks a real punch in the ending and is a bit too predictable in its denouement Dan s personal conflicts, a necessary of any modern fictional detective character in my opinion, are pretty mundane and seembolted onto the plot, rather than a driver of it I prefer my fictional detectives to bedamaged and angsty than this


  4. says:

    It s a procedural police story lot s of procedures in the beginning as the police try to find a motive suspect lead There is a blindingly obvious clue at the murder scene which they ignore.There is a lot about Detective Dan, a brilliant homicide cop, who returns to Broome to follow his divorced wife so he can be close to his daughter The police are all nice characters.The murders are brutal, the depiction of Broome as an idyllic location is shattered, there is plenty of heat, flies, remotene It s a procedural police story lot s of procedures in the beginning as the police try to find a motive suspect lead There is a blindingly obvious clue at the murder scene which they ignore.There is a lot about Detective Dan, a brilliant homicide cop, who returns to Broome to follow his divorced wife so he can be close to his daughter The police are all nice characters.The murders are brutal, the depiction of Broome as an idyllic location is shattered, there is plenty of heat, flies, remoteness and a collection of people who live in Broome to make money or to live without the shackles of big city life.There is also a cyclone which kind of breaks into the story The cyclone is like the story, it kind of made an impression but it could have been a bigger one


  5. says:

    I ummed and aahed about what rating to give this On the one hand, it s got all the standard elements of a police procedural that I m beginning to get bored of the good cop who isn t entirely at home in the force, whose marriage is on the rocks, how loves his kid etc etc But on the other hand, the landscape and weather of north west Australia are their own characters and add to the richness of the story telling as do the scenes set in Germany So in the end, I decided that I did enjoy reading I ummed and aahed about what rating to give this On the one hand, it s got all the standard elements of a police procedural that I m beginning to get bored of the good cop who isn t entirely at home in the force, whose marriage is on the rocks, how loves his kid etc etc But on the other hand, the landscape and weather of north west Australia are their own characters and add to the richness of the story telling as do the scenes set in Germany So in the end, I decided that I did enjoy reading enought for 4 stars


  6. says:

    I enjoyed the setting of WA outback you could feel the heat and flies Similar feel as The Dry, small country town Broome where everyone knows each other and the protagonist returns home after training as a policeman in the city and has to find his way again Interesting story line but not the page turner that keeps you reading into the night.


  7. says:

    Hot, parched and gritty Broome, Australia Good but troubled detective Large cast of characters but not overwhelming Shifting times and perspectives Multi layered plot strands well woven Will readfrom this author.


  8. says:

    I won this book via Goodreads First Reads Giveaway I received a paperback copy.


  9. says:

    Overall, an enjoyable read Some good characterisation, red herrings and plot twists, and just enough clues sprinkled throughout.My only real grievance is minor but being a Broome resident was one of the reasons I bought this book and I found it to be annoying that it was set here Little things like needing to go to Derby for the Hospital despite having a bigger hospital in Broome, them looking out for a white SUV despite the fact that 90% of the cars in Broome are white four wheel drives, an Overall, an enjoyable read Some good characterisation, red herrings and plot twists, and just enough clues sprinkled throughout.My only real grievance is minor but being a Broome resident was one of the reasons I bought this book and I found it to be annoying that it was set here Little things like needing to go to Derby for the Hospital despite having a bigger hospital in Broome, them looking out for a white SUV despite the fact that 90% of the cars in Broome are white four wheel drives, and the fact that the chase ends up several kms out of town on the Peninsular Road which is unsealed, during torrential rain which would make it all impassable To non Kimberley residents these issues are non existent.Also, the whole Biker murder and witness story didn t add up, it was never fully explained as to why he was killed and the young boy spotting the vehicle slowly driving past the hideout is a little implausible However, I will readof his stuff and Clement is a thoroughly likeable detective


  10. says:

    Another great Australian crime novel, set around Broome in the north west of Western Australia The environment enhances the terrific level of tension that the author builds into a story that follows the investigation into a murder at a remote campsite The investigation uncovers international connections and some surprises with the locals It carries a good number of twists and red herrings to make the story engaging and sophisticated I enjoyed the way in which the author interwove the charact Another great Australian crime novel, set around Broome in the north west of Western Australia The environment enhances the terrific level of tension that the author builds into a story that follows the investigation into a murder at a remote campsite The investigation uncovers international connections and some surprises with the locals It carries a good number of twists and red herrings to make the story engaging and sophisticated I enjoyed the way in which the author interwove the character of the region with the characters of the story I m hoping the author plans to create a series from here Highly recommended