The initial attraction for me to Bitter Wash Road was the fact that it is set near my hometown of Adelaide. I love reading books where the setting is familiar (which doesn't happen all that often unfortunately).
The small country town feel is omnipresent, personified by the one man police station, working and dilapidated farmsteads, and the 'everyone knows everyone' characteristics of rural life. This gives Bitter Wash Road a distinct and unique feel to the common lone-wolf police procedurals
On the surface, outcast cop Hirsch, a former metro police officer displaced after turning informant on the crooked cops at Paradise Gardens, seems to have been relegated to a sleepy country town where nothing much happens; working a one man station far removed from the cops he helped bring down. What lies beneath is a different story.
Author Garry Disher has written a well crafted and perfectly executed country cop tale with an endearing protagonist who has the odds stacked against him in everything he does. Forget about investigating serious crimes, the locals and near town cop station where Hirsch reports to, hinder everyday policing. Word of the 'dog' spreads fast and Hirsch feels every inch of his honesty obstructing him from doing his job.
Bitter Wash Road is excellent and a must read for any fan of crime fiction. 5 / 5 stars.