The Strip

Iain Ryan

The Strip
Ultimo Press
13 December 2023

The Strip

Iain Ryan

When a local doctor is brutally murdered, Detective Constable Lana Cohen joins Strike Force Diablo on the notorious Gold Coast, where she finds herself navigating a world of chaos and corruption.

As she delves deeper into the case, Lana reluctantly pairs up with Henry Loch, a detective with a tarnished reputation who sees an opportunity to redeem himself amidst the mayhem.

But as Lana and Henry unravel the threads of violence and deceit, they uncover a dark side to the Gold Coast that shocks them to the core. With six unsolved murders already haunting them, will they be able to untangle the web of lies before it's too late?

Inspired by real-life events, The Strip is a gripping crime thriller that paints a vivid portrait of a time and place where corruption and ambition reign supreme.


The Gold Coast. 1980. A city coated in a thick layer of grime, sweat, and sleaze with a grisly series of unsolved murders looming over its police department. It’s a case that has thoroughly defeated the corrupt and aimless Diablo taskforce, and sent its best detective, Brisbane’s very own Sherlock Holmes, into a grim tailspin. Enter Detectives Lana Cohen and Henry Loch: one a bold outsider from down south, and the other a grizzled underdog perfectly used to getting a little dirty. Together, with single-minded determination and no shortage of underhanded policing, they’ll steadily prise open the case until Queensland’s secrets spill out onto the tarnished floor – secrets that might be dangerously close to home.

Drawing on a real history of vice and corruption in ’70s and ’80s Queensland, in The Strip Iain Ryan has created a vivid world of danger and debauchery, populated by brothel-owning kingpins and hitmen police, professional voyeurs and elusive serial killers. It’s the sort of world that draws you in with a gravitational pull, and with Ryan’s mastery of pacy tension, it’s only natural to look up and realise that an hour has passed, the smell of cigarettes has filled your nose, and the taste of rot has settled on your tongue.

Beyond its worldbuilding, The Strip also excels in one of the benchmarks of any great thriller: the ability to slowly draw together the threads of a mystery page by page, with each little revelation leaving you hungry for more. With the strange and twisted Diablo murders, Ryan combines an electrically compelling drip-feed of information (that knows when to drop a burst of earth-shaking understanding) with a brilliantly woven final picture that surprises you yet makes perfect sense. With a final flourish of solid character work, The Strip is a lean, powerful display of craft that delivers an unmatched sense of Australian atmosphere, where cops drink tea before taking hard drugs.

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