The Dragon Man –

Meet Hal Challis, Detective For The Mornington Peninsula Police Force In Southeast Australia, In The First Investigation In This Prize Winning Crime Series A Serial Killer Is On The Loose In A Small Coastal Town Near Melbourne, Australia Detective Inspector Hal Challis And His Team Must Apprehend Him Before He Strikes Again But First, Challis Has To Contend With The Editor Of A Local Newspaper Who Undermines His Investigation At Every Turn, And With His Wife, Who Attempts To Resurrect Their Marriage Through Long Distance Phone Calls From A Sanitarium, Where She Has Been Committed For The Past Eight Years For Attempted Murder His

10 thoughts on “The Dragon Man

  1. says:

    This was my first book by Garry Disher and I enjoyed it very much.I must admit to struggling a bit at the beginning as the author introduced numerous new characters one after the other I was glad I was reading a paper book so I could page back every now and then and check who was who As the book progressed though the characters developed and it became much easier to attach their names to them I enjoyed the main character, Hal Challis He remained calm in difficult situations and he did not appear to have a drinking problem which is always a bonus for me in books like this There were a couple of crooked police men who did not get found out in this book so I suppose they will provide story lines in the next book of the series.The mystery was okay and I guessed the culprit quite early on The best aspect of the book though was the police procedure There was a feeling of reality about it no amazing bits of forensic science suddenly solving the whole crime, just lots of police leg work.All in all a competent and interesting introduction to a new series which I fully intend to follow up.

  2. says:

    This first novel of the Hal Challis series by Garry Disher is disturbing The setting is The Peninsula, a spit of land on the outskirts of Melbourne in Victoria State It is described as dry, perhaps even a little barren, and susceptible to drought and fire Paradoxically it is surrounded by water on three sides the kind of environs that gives us, in this age of global warming and extreme weather, immediate pause and a sense of foreboding It is near a major city but removed from its hustle It is populated by those with great wealth and those who can barely scrape together the wherewithal to make a meal There is an annual influx of campers and holiday goers escaping the even greater heat of the farther north In this setting we meet the officers of a constabulary struggling, to a man, to stave off poverty, ennui, petty professional jealousies, inappropriate love, and finally, crime None of them succeed with all of these.As I struggled to express my unease with the underlying story in this crime series, I came across an essay written by Stepan Talty for the New York Times called Stranger Than Fiction on the Cop Beat Talty goes right to the heart of my unease by saying that the real cop stories are often funny and horrible at the same time how beautiful and sinister a thing the cop brotherhood can be is how he puts it Just so By that standard, Disher must be writing something very close to the truth because his description of the men and women of law enforcement leaves us unsure of them, of the criminals among us, and even of ourselves the curious, the gawkers, the next door neighbors There is a serial killer on The Peninsula, but it is the police that hold our attention and engage our emotions The sense of dread is amplified by watching them.A reviewer for a different book once wrote that some readers must like the characters they read about, or approve of their choices, or sympathize with their point of view, but not all novels will give us that Well, this one won t But readers who pick up a crime novel should expect, in some small way, to come away unsettled This series looks like it will deliver Garry Disher has a long string of novels to his name and has been awarded honors, awards and prizes, but this series has only been published in the United States beginning in 2004 There are now six books in the Challis series and U.S publication is coming now at only a slight remove from publication in Australia Disher discusses his books and provides an extract of the sixth Challis novel on his website His female character Sergeant Ellen Destry began to take on a life of her own as the series progressed, so now the series can reasonably be called the Challis Destry series Check it out Australia without the bush has a different feel Be prepared to be disconcerted.

  3. says:

    Detective Inspector Hal Challis was finding the drought tiring not a lot of water left in his rainwater tanks, almost none in his underground tanks he didn t want to buy water again But the musings on his water problems were soon drowned out by his concern over the latest abduction A second young woman had been taken and his feeling was that there was a serial killer in their area they hadn t linked it to the first one yet, but he didn t like coincidences His small town of Waterloo, not all that far from Melbourne was generally a quiet place now though, the locals, especially the women, were nervous and who could blame them It seemed there was also an arsonist on the loose setting fire to letterboxes at random Plus the latest spate of aggravated burglaries his team had their hands full with it all Leading the team with Challis was CIB sergeant Ellen Destry he d worked with her before and found her to be a good detective But their frustration was evident in the lack of clues, the lack of information that was coming back in their investigation Would they find the second victim alive And was the killer taunting the police Would he strike again The Dragon Man by Aussie author Garry Disher was an enjoyable police procedural novel the first in the Inspector Challis series, and I m looking forward to reading This one had a good amount of twists and turns and a great plot with a satisfying ending I have no hesitation in recommending The Dragon Man to all lovers of crime novels.

  4. says:

    The Dragon Man is book one in the Inspector Challis series by Garry Disher When young women were starting to disappear on the way home and couple of days later turn up dead Inspector Challis started to think their is a serial killer on the Penisula The readers of Dragon Man will follow the Inspector Challis and his team investigation into who killing young girls Also, the readers of The Dragon Man will follow the intertwine investigation into the murder of young women in a house fire.I enjoy reading The Dragon Man Also, I like the Garry Disher portrayal of his characters exspecially Inspector Challis Garry Disher did a good job of intertwine two murder investigation and the way he ensure that the readers start to wonder if both investigations are link However, only complaint I have with this book is Garry Disher did not explain to the readers of The Dragon Man about Inspector Challis wife Angela who rings him on a regular basics.Readers of Dragon Man will learn about the problems that rural areas have when the area is in drought Readers of Dragon Man will learnt about the problems and importance of law enforcement to have a good relationship with the press.I recommend this book.

  5. says:

    I anticipated enjoying, and very much wanted to enjoy, The Dragon Man It came highly recommended from good friends I hate being the outlier but there it is One of the three stars is for guilt Mine.For all of Disher s considerable talent and experience, this first work in a series came across like a one hour pilot for the Australian version of Broadchurch It s not a cozy mystery Disher introduces 15 20 characters, as well as two lead detectives Hal Challis and Ellen Destry Only the detectives seem to be principled and reliable If it were an urban detective story, there would be a dozen or so characters who only figure in one scene or are useful to communicate one piece of evidence, and a reader would know that she he doesn t need to pay attention to who they are, only what she he learned from them, because they d not re enter the story In The Dragon Man, though, these 15 20 characters come into the story at regular intervals and many of them blur together if you read this novel over a week s period, requiring the casual reader to flip back pages in order to re orient herself on which of the many cops, or of the many random townspeople, this character is The Dragon Man excels at its sense of place This is Australia, in the summer, in a community where lots of tourists flow in for their holidays, and there s a year round community that has some issues, shall we say You feel those cracks in the community The frustration of several of the cops with the locals The frustration of several of the women with the sexism of the men with whom they work The tension between the police department and the media It also starts off great worthy of Harlan Coben great What The Dragon Man is less successful at is the detective thriller mystery plot, and the tangents and storylines that aren t red herrings they simply get in the way of a reader s enjoyment and, ultimately, act as the equivalent of a pebble in one s shoe, in terms of their increasing annoyance In the middle of what is presented as a crisis with 2 dead girls and one threatened and few if any leads, this police department doesn t seem to have a sense of urgency Challis is hooking up with a local reporter, who is publishing letters from the girl killing culprit Destry has the hots for the A C guy, notwithstanding the existence of her spouse and her teen daughter s high read on her creep meter with respect to said A C guy Another cop is spending great amounts of time hanging out with his latest girlfriend if by girlfriend you mean someone he recently started sleeping with, but who isn t important to him during work hours, and stealing drugs from the evidence locker to give to her Disher also spends a great deal of real estate on one particular cop and her recovery from an accident, pain, rehab and crush on a surfing instructor all of which was irrelevant, didn t drive the action forward, and had nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada to do with anything We also learn of Hallis interest in restoring an old airplane, several times Writers of detective novels thrillers whose storyline involves a race against an unknown killer to prevent another death typically try to keep up the tension, in part by being laser focused on the investigation and search for clues Disher apparently doesn t buy into that approach If you re looking for a new, well written detective series, either in Austalia or simply somewhere other than America or the UK, are either tolerant of or amused by off topic descriptions and characters, and willing to push through the first novel that tees up the setting and larger cast of characters, for a payoff in books two and beyond, The Dragon Man and its subsequent series mates might be a good bet I won t be along for that ride, but I wish you well.

  6. says:

    RATING 4.5Garry Disher is an extremely talented author who has not received nearly the acclaim that he should outside of his native Australia Nominated for the Ned Kelly Award and the Booker Award, Disher has written 32 books He is best known for the Wyatt crime fiction series With the publication of THE DRAGON MAN, Disher may finally see his fine work acknowledged The first in a new series, the book is a police procedural that completely engages the reader.Detective Inspector Hal Challis is a senior homicide investigator who works in the Peninsula area southeast of Melbourne, Australia He works with the local police departments in the area, where he can lend his expertise when they face a case that is outside of their normal repertoire of crimes He s been called to Waterloo to assist in investigating the murder rape of a young woman who had been traveling on the old Peninsular Highway When a second woman is murdered under similar circumstances, it appears that a serial killer may be at work Challis works with the members of the local CIB Crime Investigation Bureau and serves as the team leader It is an interesting group of officers, from the personally conflicted sergeant, Ellen Destry, to a young female officer, Pam Murphy, who is very perceptive There are two rogue detectives who are upsetting the locals, one through his thug like actions and the other who is crossing the line of the law in his relationship with a local woman who has her own demons.The strength of the book lies in watching each of these characters on and off the job, as well as observing the goings on of the local populace, in particular, two young men who are heading for serious trouble Although Challis is heading the unit for this investigation, each of the secondary police characters gets a lot of page time as well The setting is wonderfully detailed, down to the daily nuances of managing things like an adequate water supply in a drought ridden area The plotting is the only area that shows weakness The serial killer thread is not really fully developed in terms of the perpetrator who I found absurdly easy to identify , and the resolution is cobbled together a bit too quickly.Hal is known as the Dragon Man , not as a reference to anything having to do with his personality but rather because he likes to restore old airplanes as a hobby The one he is working on now is the Dragon Rapide, and is likely to take him many years to rebuild That kind of detail is provided for most of the characters, which serves to make them fully dimensional and memorable I hope that THE DRAGON MAN will meet with huge success so that Disher s work is readily available outside of Australia The premise that he uses here with Challis leading investigations in different local communities has tremendous possibilities for future books in a series Add to that the fact that Disher s writing is wonderful introspective, richly textured and nicely complex Conclusion THE DRAGON MAN is a winner, and I highly recommend it.

  7. says:

    Up from 2.5 because there s something genuinely absorbing about this procedural But gawdlemitey if the next book has eleventeen characters bumblestumbling around I will boot this series.Challis needs something He needs a humanizing hobby, like Montalbano Plane restoring is dull and unappealing Destry s a bit less blah, but not overmuch Tankard s a nasty fucker and I hope he dies in a fire or something equally painful and unpleasant The other bajillion characters didn t make an impression on me so I don t remember their names or qualities.Anyway, better than meh but not by much Book two, Kittyhawk Down, better be significantly involving and intriguing or the series goes flooey with me.

  8. says:

    This book isn t bad The writing and mood are good The characters are very uninteresting however It s been there and done that I wish my local PBS would reshow Water Rats.Crossposted at Booklikes.

  9. says:

    Too many characters and I don t care about any of them DNF