Snapshot.

Author:Scardamalia, Paula
Position:Book review
 
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Work Title: Snapshot

Work Author(s): Garry Disher

Soho Crime

337 pages, Hardcover $23.00

Mystery

ISBN: 1569474265

Reviewer: Paula Scardamalia

"On Saturday she watched Robert have sex with four women." With this startling opening sentence, the reader follows one jolting image after another in a tale of distorted lust and twisted emotions.

Janine, an impatient and insensitive psychologist who is married to the son of the local police superintendent, finally gives in to her husband's pressure to attend a swingers' party in the small Australian town of Waterloo. At the party, she surreptitiously photographs with her cell phone four prominent men having sex with women who are not their wives. One is her husband.

Disturbingly, when Janine is killed, her seven-year-old daughter uses the same cell phone to report her mother's murder. Upon questioning the child, investigator Hal Challis locates the missing phone, and its stored photos, and suddenly Janine's husband---the son of Challis's boss---is a strong suspect.

From personal experience, Challis knows that usually "murder, manslaughter---are committed by someone known to the victim, and about five in ten are direct family members." His own wife killed herself in prison after failing to kill him.

The reader soon finds that nothing here will be black and white---for the investigation or the investigator. Challis struggles with this case and with his growing attraction to his sergeant, whose marriage is falling apart. He walks a careful line between boss and employee, investigator and suspect, as the superintendent tries to control the case and protect his son.

This story is not just about lust but also about how lust can distort, betray, and lead to insanity. The author adds secondary images...

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