Daughters of Eve

Nina D. Campbell

Daughters of Eve
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Daughters of Eve

Nina D. Campbell

When a high-profile murder lands literally at her feet, Detective Emilia Hart sees a chance to expand her caseload beyond the endless succession of domestic violence matters she is forced to investigate. But this is no simple investigation.


Another body turns up, then another. Then more - a lot more. All men, all shot, with a similar MO. It’s not until a manifesto taking credit for the crimes is published by a group calling themselves Daughters of Eve that Hart confirms a link between the victims: all of them had been perpetrators themselves. All had offended against women or children. Few had been charged with those crimes - and none convicted.

As panic sets in and chaos rules the streets, the police draw ever closer to the Daughters of Eve, but the serial killer continues to elude them. Again, Hart sees something that everyone else has missed. And what that is, she cannot believe.

A stunning debut that will take you to the edge and dare you to look down.

Review

In Sydney one bright clear day, a high-profile barrister is publicly gunned down on the courthouse steps. Not long after, another bloke in Melbourne suffers the same fate, and then another in Sydney. Before long, the violence escalates across Australia and more blokes are dead. Yeah, that’s right, the victims are all men. Empathetic yet steely detective Emilia Hart, a seasoned investigator of family and gendered violence, witnesses the first death, and is quick to find the link between all the victims: all are perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence. The culprits dishing out this natural justice (or feminist revenge) is the elusive group Daughters of Eve, but with so many victims, panic ensues, and the police commissioners are quick to turn to the army for help. The irony is not lost on our intelligent protagonist: the army isn’t brought in to combat domestic violence despite there being substantially more victims.

Even though all the corpses in this book are men, there are also many female victims: all the women Hart encounters in the course of her investigation – herself included – were raped and/or assaulted by someone they know. The devastating end to this rollercoaster investigation proves to be a ride that even Hart wasn’t prepared for.

Jacqueline Bublitz, author of one of my favourite books of 2021 (Before You Knew My Name), thought this was ‘unputdownable’. I have to agree. Not only is this a sensational thriller with a riveting plot, it’s also a highly intelligent, thought-provoking read. I commend Nina D. Campbell for responding to this huge issue in our society, in a different way from other crime writers such as Bublitz and Louise Doughty. Meaningful change shouldn’t demand the sacrifice of women’s lives or the kind of revenge dished out here, however fun it is to read!


Julia Jackson is assistant manager at Readings Carlton.

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