Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: OUT OF EXILE by Luke Preston

18485241OUT OF EXILE follows Tom Bishop, a damaged and dangerous ex-cop with the result simply noir; blurred justice, violence, and a case for vengeance tripping over the borders of criminality. Dig deeper, and the deluge of the damned and corrupt seeps deep into the cracked Melbourne pavement. The reality not distilled by the outrageous but supported by the outlandish. This level of rife corruption and blatant disregard for civilian safety could easily happen, a factious tag-line ripped from the Herald Sun or Australian.

And that's what makes OUT OF EXILE so good.

Free from prison, Bishop finds himself embroiled in a multi-layered crime of smoke and mirrors where the true purpose of the corrupt elite isn't clear until the bloody ending. Raw from the loss of his daughter, Bishop's justice radar still leans towards the blue line - this despite being involved in a kidnapping, break-in of his former foe's house and torture of a prominent cop wife. While things look bad for Bishop's predicament, his relentless pursuit of justice enforced by street law provides a constant glimmer of hope where none should filter.

OUT OF EXILE builds upon the Aussie conceptual noir, DARK CITY BLUE, the first book to feature Tom Bishop. The key players return (those not six feet under) with more character depth and for the reader, more situational awareness of the fictitious Victorian police landscape. While I think anyone could read OUT OF EXILE as a standalone, it works much better having read DARK CITY BLUE. 

Author Luke Preston does a great job at keeping the reader guessing while planting landmines of explosive twists throughout the course of events. Like its predecessor, OUT OF EXILE is an action pack non-stop noir where no one is safe from the tantalising grip of corruption and promised wealth.   

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