Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell
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) isthe 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 rollercoasterinvestigation 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 sensationalthriller 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!