The Fall Between

Darcy Tindale

The Fall Between
Random House Australia
2 May 2023

The Fall Between

Darcy Tindale

On a hot November morning, the first body lies in a cattle trough . . . It will be another two hours before rigor mortis sets in. Until then, the slim fingers will float below the water's surface, gently bobbing, beckoning Detective Giles to come and find her.

Detective Rebecca Giles has just finished interviewing aging petty crim Sticky Pete over a spate of break-and-enters when a disturbing new report comes in. Twelve-year-old Kayleen Ellis has vanished from her home in Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Hours later, Giles is a local hero, having apparently solved Kayleen's case and the spate of jewellery thefts.

Yet the hangover from her celebrations has barely kicked in when the body of young jillaroo Ava Emmerson is discovered in gruesome circumstances on a nearby farm.

Giles is convinced the link between all three cases lies in the town's tragic history, perhaps even in her own mother's mysterious drowning thirty years ago.

In a place where nothing much changes, suddenly a great deal is happening - and Giles's life and career are now on the line.


A policeman’s daughter, now a detective in the force herself, returns to the Hunter Valley where she was born. We discover that she wants to keep an eye on her aging father – a man who has been cruelly struck down by a degenerative disease. But also, where else would there be the opportunity for buried family secrets to cross paths with cranky old farmers, gruesome murders, the usual human fallibilities of greed and stupidity, and a lapse or two into moral turpitude?

Will Detective Rebecca Giles discover the link between a spate of jewellery thefts and murder before the summer heat and her libido bring about her undoing? Luckily for Giles, her mostly male immediate work colleagues seem to be essentially okay blokes, and refreshingly removed from misogynistic Roger Rogerson stereotypes. It’s Giles herself, with her unresolved family issues, and city boarding school attitudes, who is tripping herself up.

The Fall Between is a good read with the right combination of reader opportunity to guess some things, but also to miss others and keep the reader’s attention – and the tension. I found myself feeling not quite in the country at times, and although there are some great character cameos, occasionally I found them at odds with the narrative. Candice Fox has endorsed this first adult book by Darcy Tindale as ‘rural noir at its very best’. Giles is vanilla noir compared to Eden in Fox’s Hades, but admittedly Hades isn’t set in the country. Fox’s words fuelled my anticipation as I opened the book, distant echoes of Wake in Fright hovering on the edges of my mind. There’s a second Detective Giles book in the offing and I can see a promising future for her in which she develops better taste in men, loses some privilege and drinks less but better wine – she’s living in the Hunter Valley, for Pete’s sake.

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