Book Review Post – Hades by Candice Fox

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Screenshot taken with iPhone from iPad

Candice Fox is Australian and Hades her first novel. She won an award for Best Debut Crime Novel for it. The follow-up, Eden, won the award for Best Fiction. Both awards were given to her by the Australian Crime Writers Association. She’s so far the only author to win these awards back-to-back.

I’ve learned about this book via listening to the radio while I was sick in my bed at the rehab facility. Each Monday on WDR 2 they feature a crime novel. Most of the time I’m not really 100% interested because I’m not a regular crime reader. But since I had nothing better to do than lying there and listening…

Radio guy had nothing but good things to say about this book, he was downright bragging, calling it the best thing he’s read since Stig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (you know… The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/… who played with fire/… who kickeed the Hornet’s Nest).

He was praising Fox’s writing style and the unique characters she’s created. He was so enthusiastic about it, that he made me curious and so I spontaneously went to iBooks and bought it.

So Hades is a guy who works in the waste business, but in fact he’s one who cleans up other’s people’s mess. Aka… gets rid of bodies and stuff like that. If there’s a dirty job to do, people go to Hades for “help”. One night he’s brought the half-dead bodies of two children to his wasteyard. They are supposed to be dead and someone needs to get rid of their bodies. Only that the kids, as Hades realizes, are not dead. He decides to not get rid of them but raises them as if they were his own kids….

Jump to 20 years later, we meet homicide detective Frank Bennett who was reassigned to a new station and gets a new partner, Eden, who’s former partner was killed while doing his job. Eden is quite tough and mysterious. Her brother, Eric, also a detective, is not exactly the sympathetic type and the rest of the squad is not exactly welcoming. Frank doesn’t have it easy on his first days. But they all have to work together because there’s a serial killer out there in Sydney, leaving a trail of bodies. All the victims have faced a terrifying fate.

The story switches between these two timelines (which is not confusing though) and we learn, what the one has to do with the other.

I didn’t really know what to make of this book. It was good, but I would not go as far as praising it the way the radio guy did. For one: there was not a single sympathetic character here. Then again, no one is ever really ONLY bad or ONLY good. There are many different motives behind the actions of almost all of the characters. Some of what is not (yet) exactly fleshed out. Maybe because this is going to be a trilogy. Next book, Eden, is out already (and will come out in September in Germany).

The present-time story is told from Frank’s point of view and I had to roll my eyes at him a bit too often, then again, there’s something in his past that made him the person he is now. And I’m sure we’ll get to learn about what that is in the next books.

Eden, while being a police officer, is doing some bad things herself. But if you learn the reason behind it, you can almost understand. Hades is highly criminal, but there’s also a side to him that is everything but criminal. So there’s never only black and white in this story, which makes it rather interesting. If I have a problem with the book, it may be with Frank’s “voice”. I’m not sure if I like that guy, or the way he speaks.  Then again I wonder if that would change in the next books when we get to know him better. I don’t know.

I would give that book 4 stars on Amazon. It was good, the story was unique, but I had the one or other character issue. I will definitely read part two though. One reason is because I want to find out more about Eden. And I suppose, given the title, I have a good chance, I can.

Hades – Candice fox (Amazon Deutschland)
Hades – Candice Fox (Amazon US)
Hades – Candice Fox (Amazon UK)

#books #bookreview #review #ilovereading #hades #candicefox

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