There are many reasons to enjoy Jodi Picoult – of course, the main one is that she writes a cracker of a story. Perfect Match is no exception. It’s a gripping story. Meet Nina Frost, a prosecutor who faces the most devastating crimes, deals with the most devastating of victims and tries her utmost to conduct herself according to the laws that bind her profession as well as the morals and ethics by which she lives.
Frost is a likable and indeed a noble character. Readers will easily empathise with her and her life and her mission to defend and support these victims.
However, Frost’s world crumbles when she and her husband discover that their five year old son has been sexually assaulted. Suddenly, Frost is confronted with the reality of the nightmare that she sees her clients battling and she is seemingly powerless to deal with it.
This book is about people and the lengths to which they will go when trying to defend those that they love. It is about the battle professional and personal values, and, above all, it is about the mistakes that we make and how those mistakes can effect our lives and those of the people around us.
This one is a fantastic holiday read with some great fodder for discussion thrown in to the mix.
Disher is a new author for me, and this is his latest book and winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction 2010.
The book’s opening sets the scene – “Wyatt was waiting to rob a man of $75,000.” – and it is through this bungled heist that we meet the protagonist, a fearfully calm and reassured man called Wyatt. What we come to learn about him, we gather only from his actions as he is as illusive and mysterious a character as I have ever encountered. He is swift, invisible, a chameleon and incredibly readable!
Wyatt encounters a range of people in this book, some more interesting than others. There is a prostitute, a thug, a police detective and a Frenchman who is a worthy opponent. Of course, there is also the necessary love interest.
However, while this tale could read like trashy crime fiction, it is actually brilliantly written and filled with a dynamism that I have rarely encountered in this genre. Disher does a magnificent job of describing Melbourne and clearly has a keen sense of the place. He takes us through her streets, down her dark alleyways and into her parks. It is a fascinating journey, impeccably narrated and wonderfully layered.
Obviously, the book is filled with the obligatory crime action of sex, drugs and a series of murders and this ensures that the plot is fast paced and quite twisted (I mean this in a positive way!)
The Australian says that Wyatt “simply has to be read in one sitting” and I can certainly attest to that (although it took me two sittings). I normally enjoy a good crime thriller, but this one has far exceeded my expectations and I dare confess that I might be a new Garry Disher fan … Is there going to be a sequel???