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A modern western set in an isolated Australian bush town with a soaring crime rate where a local constable with a troubled past must investigate the death of a teenage girl whose murder threatens to set the dusty streets ablazeConstable Paul Hirschhausen—”Hirsch”—is a recently demoted detective sent from Adelaide Australia’s southernmost booming metropolis to Tiverton a one road town in rustic backwater “wool and wheat” country three hours north Hirsch isn’t just a disgraced cop; the internal investigations bureau is still trying to convict him of something even if it means planting evidence When someone leaves a pistol cartridge in his mailbox Hirsch suspects that his career isn't the only thing on the line  But the tiny town of Tiverton has crime than one lone cop should have to handle The stagnant economy rural isolation and entrenched racism and misogyny mean every case Hirsch investigates is a new basket of snakes When the body of a 16 year old local girl is found on the side of the highway the situation in Tiverton gets even sinister and whether or not he finds her killer there’s going to be hell to payPaperback edition found under the title Bitter Wash Road


10 thoughts on “Bitter Wash Road

  1. says:

    I don't know how I could possibly have missed this gritty Aussie crime noir series by Garry Disher featuring the demoted whistleblowing Constable Paul 'Hirsch' Hirschhausen banished from Adelaide police to the remote backwaters of a small town Tiverton with their single officer police station You might think this means little in the way of crime stirs here but still waters run deep where Hirsch a good natured compassionate man with a core of hard steel finds he has once again stepped into a nest of vipers His boss Sergeant Klopp is based at Redruth a man who has no intentions of making life easy for a cop who has betrayed his own an absolute no no even if those cops are hardened criminals Klopp's barely educated brutal racist and misogynist neanderthal constables Nicholson and Andrewatha mean that Hirsch is surrounded by no one he can trustHirsch remains a person of interest a 'suspect' in the ongoing inuiries in Adelaide the repercussions of his actions against his former boss uine continue as he finds himself facing a barrage of efforts to paint him as corrupt the fallout of which culminate in his parents being harrassed and intimidated Hirsch finds himself directed by Klopp to make his way to Bitter Wash Road where a body has been discovered at the side of the road The victim is 16 year old Melia Donovan a sweet if wayward kid from an impoverished background rumoured to have a much older boyfriend her closest friend the shop assistant Gemma Pitcher All the signs point to a straightforward hit and run accident with Melia notorious for regularly hitchhiking However something about it doesn't sit right with Hirsch and despite being warned to leave well alone he cannot stop himself looking deeper This is followed by the death of Alison Latimer divorcing her abusive husband Ray in what appears to be an obvious suicide with all the potential suspects with a motive for murder having carefully constructed unbreakable alibis triggering suspicions that have Hirsch looking closely at Alison Hirsch persists in looking into both deaths each seemingly separate incidents a slow and laborious process until it emerges there may be connections between them linking them to a small group of privileged and powerful men Disher's plotting is intricate and his descriptions of place bring the small towns of Tiverton and Redruth vividly alive Hirsch is forced into being a loner but this is not a state he is comfortable with but he has to be on his guard at all times surrounded as he is by threats and danger all around him Despite the community's distrust of the police with good reason Hirsch turns out to be an excellent community police officer who slowly embeds himself in a place that initially seemed so unpromising I particularly loved his developing relationship with the bright and plucky child Katie Street I cannot wait for the next in the series this is for all those who love their Aussie crime fiction A brilliant read Many thanks to Serpent's Profile for an ARC


  2. says:

    I am really enjoying reading my way through this author's work and luckily there is plenty of it so I will be busy for a whileBitter Wash Road tells the story of a whistle blower in the police force who as he would be in most organisations is shunned by his colleagues and sent to work in the back of beyond Unfortunately he ends up in an eually bad scenario where the local police force consists basically of thugsDisher writes really well and his descriptions of the locality are spot on His characters are also well developed and the main character Hirsch is very likeable The story is paced very well and it is too easy to keep on reading and reading right through to the end And the ending is wonderful particularly the assistance Hirsch gets from an unexpected sourceThoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended


  3. says:

    'I don't care if a fellow police member swindles the Children's Hospital and violates a busload of nuns You do not betray him'When Detective Paul Hirschhausen is demoted and sent to a seedy little back water town he finds the place even corrupt than the police department he left behind There are things happening in Tiverton that many people would kill to keep secret and now Hirsch's investigations into the death of a teenage girl who was presumably hit by a car threaten to bring those dark dealings to light This is a well paced and well written thriller gritty and tense but with welcome bits of comic relief provided mostly by Hirsch's attitude and actions I'm looking forward to reading much by Disher Highly recommended


  4. says:

    Constable Paul Hirschhausen 'Hirsch' has been banished to a one man police station in Tiverton a small town north of Adelaide Is only crime is supplying the police internal affairs department evidence of corruption involving several officers in his unit Now he is both suspect and still under investigation himself and shunned by his colleagues for bringing down fellow officers Hirsch soon finds that most of the locals are anti police as his boss Sergeant Kropp and his officers in the police station in the nearby larger town are bullies and interested in protecting their powerful friends than seeing justice doneTiverton also proves not to be the uiet little town that Hirsch expected He soon finds himself to deal with a puzzling 'hit and run' when the body of a young girl is found on the side of the road and then the apparent suicide of a middle aged woman This is a really well written gritty thriller with a plot that takes a while to reveal itself and some clever investigative work from Hirsch before what has really been going on in the area is uncovered Hirsch is a very likeable character and I would be happy to read see him feature in future books


  5. says:

    This was Slow but no Burn My first book by Garry Disher which I found to be low key mediocre and lacking depth Enjoyed the prose and description of the Australian Outback


  6. says:

    Constable Paul Hirschhausen known to all as Hirsch was the new cop in the rural town of Tiverton a couple of hours north of Adelaide in South Australia He was called a whistle blower hated and despised by his colleagues from the high up ranks to the lowest Sent to this one cop town in disgrace his new boss was Sergeant Kropp stationed at Redruth which was not all that far from Tiverton But Hirsch was one of those honest cops; one who believed in the law – in being firm but compassionate when necessary He was always going to clash with Kropp and the other two constables in Redruth Bitter Wash Road was where he was sent on his first job; gunfire had been heard – two criminals were on the run from ueensland; he wondered if it could be them? But what he found was uite different – and after his shock at the closeness of the bullet his thoughts were on whether this would be his last jobThen with a terrible suddenness things went from bad to worse The finding of the body of a young local girl was a shock to Hirsch; was it an accident or was it something sinister? The escalation of horrors in the area; the violence and evil – Hirsch felt like he was moving through a sea of treacle No one within the force believed his theories; he was lacking in evidence but his gut was telling him he was right Did he have anyone at all that he could trust? I loved this gritty mystery by Aussie author Garry Disher The plot was excellent with the twists keeping me glued to the pages I haven’t read a lot by this author but that will definitely change The combination of great characters both likeable and unlikeable plus the tension and suspense throughout meant this was an exceptional crime fiction novel Highly recommendedWith thanks to Text Publishing for my copy to read and review


  7. says:

    Constable Paul Hirschhausen is a man of integrity and someone who has fallen foul in Adelaide after whistle blowing on a bent cop Hated by his colleagues he know finds himself in the South Australian town of Tiverton hoping to move on with his life that involves an upcoming inuest But far from being a uiet time in this small town Paul will find himself slap bang into something far greater than what he could ever imagineCalled out to Bitter Wash Road after reports of shots being fired he will come across a dead teenage girl on the side of the road The general consensus is that she was the victim of a hit and run but Hirsch is not convinced His boss Sergeant Kropp does not want Hirsch to investigate Why this is so will reveal itself as time goes by It soon becomes apparent to Hirsch that the young girl's death is the tip of an all mighty iceberg He has his own theories but without evidence and with a lack of trust due to his past will have to work doubly hard to find the truthWhat that is will manifest itself in police corruption abuse of power intimidation domestic violence and Hirsch putting his life on the line to bring it to a stop This is gritty crime noir mystery written to perfection with an unassuming plot that sucks you in and keeps you thinking to the very end Throw in some great characterisation and the wonderful backdrop of the outback with its small town nuances you have everything you need for a uality read This is the first book I have read by Aussie author Garry Disher and won't be my last


  8. says:

    His hand was pale scrupulously clean no sign of sun damage hard labour or mishaps which put him at odds with the men women and children Hirsch had encountered so far in the bush People out here were generally blemished Farm grime under fingernails garden scratches schoolyard scrapes sun wrinkles dusty trouser cuffs tarnished watch straps and gammy legs One of the best crime novels I’ve read recently my first from Garry Disher but hopefully not the last I was enthralled by how seamlessly and elegantly the author weaves together three novels into one a high conspiracy thriller a murder police procedural and an insider account of police corruption All plot threads converge on one man Constable Hirschhausen Hirsch for short sent down to the dustiest most remote post in the Australian Outback for being a snitch on his superiors a sort of modern day Serpico Hirsch may have good reasons to believe everybody is out to get him being shot at in the very opening pages of the novel but he also has a dubious case on his hands of a young hitchhiker found dead in a ditch after an apparent hit runThe plot advances with an inexorable pace worthy of the best classic noir novels with the sunny Australian desert getting and ominous as Hirsch starts interviewing relatives and finds roadblocks at every turn from his former colleagues and superiors He is overualified for the task after being a member of a former elite team in Adelaide but now he can trust nobody as corruption seems to go all the way to the top Kropp’s constables were poorly educated and short of work and life experience too Just as clannish and suspicious of anyone different Attracted to police work because it gave them standing And it licensed the art and craft of hurting other human beings Discher is spot on with the spare prose the occasional local idiom that had me scratched my head in confusion and the biting social commentary Hirsch is a solid lead competent and taciturn as a true lone wolf making the rare glimpses into his emotional landscape even poignant as the action heats upI am trying not to give spoilers to the actual crime investigation but recent items in the news put a new light on this short passage that caught my attention Now where have I heard this before? X is adventurous suggestible anxious to please her head easily turned by a man with money and charm He spends some time money and charm on her flatters her lets her drive his car gives her a fun time alcohol cocaine marijuana sex Gradually introduces her to a group of men who like to party with underage girls Highly recommended


  9. says:

    uite easily my favourite Australian noir Garry Disher's Bitter Wash Road is a tense drama of rural life from the point of view of an outsider in this instance Hirsch a potentially bent copper demoted to patrolling a small town in South Australia Hirsch is dropped in to a fairly typical murder mystery plot dead body many suspects coverups etc and in true genre fashion misses clues asks the wrong uestions and jumps to conclusions BUT Disher gives the story so much than that including a few nice red herrings His strongest work is in his evocative prose bringing life to the place people and situations that Hirsch runs up against most notably the paranoia that affects Hirsch from the opening paragraph; he's been tarnished with many brushes a bent copper and not just that a bent copper who snitched on his mates according to the department assumptions and now his life is under threat not just from the colleagues he apparently sent away but from his new colleagues who don't appreciate having to work with a maggot who dishonored the badgeIt all makes for a tense and atmospheric read that would surely be selling bucketloads if he wasn't an Aussie it's comparable to the best of the modern genre from anywhere in the world as far as I'm concerned


  10. says:

    The initial attraction for me to Bitter Wash Road was the fact that it is set near my hometown of Adelaide I love reading books where the setting is familiar which doesn't happen all that often unfortunatelyThe small country town feel is omnipresent personified by the one man police station working and dilapidated farmsteads and the 'everyone knows everyone' characteristics of rural life This gives Bitter Wash Road a distinct and uniue feel to the common lone wolf police procedurals On the surface outcast cop Hirsch a former metro police officer displaced after turning informant on the crooked cops at Paradise Gardens seems to have been relegated to a sleepy country town where nothing much happens; working a one man station far removed from the cops he helped bring down What lies beneath is a different storyAuthor Garry Disher has written a well crafted and perfectly executed country cop tale with an endearing protagonist who has the odds stacked against him in everything he does Forget about investigating serious crimes the locals and near town cop station where Hirsch reports to hinder everyday policing Word of the 'dog' spreads fast and Hirsch feels every inch of his honesty obstructing him from doing his job Bitter Wash Road is excellent and a must read for any fan of crime fiction 5 5 starshttpjustaguythatlikes2readblogspo