Crackenback by Lee Christine. (2021).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder of the Sydney Homicide Squad is on the hunt for notorious fugitive Gavin Hutton. After months of dead-ends, the trail leads to NSW Snowy Mountains. Meanwhile, when injured Jack bursts into the remote Thredbo lodge managed by Eva, her first instinct is to protect her daughter Poppy. But his arrival has even more terrifying consequences than she thought. With a killer on the loose, Jack and Ryder are tangled in the same treacherous web – spun across the perilously beautiful Crackenback Range.
If you’ve read the author’s previous novel, ‘Charlotte Pass’, then you’ll be happy to know there’s some familiar faces; and if you haven’t, don’t stress as you can easily read this as a standalone. The reader is immediately thrown into the action with the prologue describing a hostage situation, and the suspense continues on from there until the very end. It’s a fast-paced and intense storyline, with Eva’s main concern being to protect her young daughter from harm. The isolated setting really ramps up the tense atmosphere and readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen with the violent fugitive Gavin stalking around. Highly recommend!