The novel opens with a horrific home invasion involving two parents and their eight-year-old daughter, Gabby, in Gold Coast, Queensland.
Walker has been tasked with a desk job in the same area away from his hometown of Caloodie with orders to act only as an advisor to a separate investigation of the murder of a man from the Caloodie area. Walker is also recuperating from a leg injury sustained in the first novel and is awaiting his time before a panel that will decide if his behavior in the previous investigation will result in his retention or firing as a police detective.
Walker’s taciturn boss has strongly suggested to him that he act solely as that advisor, keep his head down, and avoid any sort of controversy.
Because most resources are applied to the high-profile home invasion investigation, Walker ends up as the main investigator rather than a mere advisor and is careful to hide this from his own boss.
When those investigating the home invasion learn of Walker’s premiere investigative skills, he is asked to review their case files, which leads to him slowly being pulled into that investigation as well.
As the novel progresses, the more information Walker discovers, the more suspicions he has that the two cases may be related, while others remain highly skeptical of such a link.
Slowly, Walker becomes more deeply involved in each case and because it is believed Gabby may still be in danger, he takes turns guarding her at her hospital bedside while recovering from injuries sustained in the home invasion. This then leads to the development of kinship between the two.
Unbeknownst to Walker, when a dangerously violent man introduced in the previous novel learns of his Gold Coast presence, plans are made for revenge against Walker.
With multiple new and previously introduced characters, Wolf then delivers a satisfying, way above-average police procedural full of interesting characters and plots and does well in breathing life into her characters – even the villains. Not only that, Wolf’s writing again exhibits a wonderfully smooth style that clearly feeds the anticipation of the arrival of her future work.
Paradise is recommended to those that enjoy police procedurals with humanly developed characters and the novels of writers like Garry Disher. Paradise was provided by Embala Books through Netgalley upon the promise of a fair review and is set to be published on May 17, 2023.