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An isolated town with a dark past… Devlins Reach in the Hawkesbury River is known for its secluded location and picturesque beauty. But within its tight-knit community of loggers, store owners and tight-lipped locals, a killer is on the loose. When three bodies are unearthed in an excavation site, park ranger and wilderness expert Taylor Bridges is called in to help local po An isolated town with a dark past… Devlins Reach in the Hawkesbury River is known for its secluded location and picturesque beauty. But within its tight-knit community of loggers, store owners and tight-lipped locals, a killer is on the loose. When three bodies are unearthed in an excavation site, park ranger and wilderness expert Taylor Bridges is called in to help local police, and he discovers the town has an unsettling history. But Taylor has a past of his own that still haunts him and his family. As a torrential storm grows closer, The Reach goes into lockdown. With no way in or out, Taylor finds himself in race against the power of nature to catch the killer before the whole town goes under.


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An isolated town with a dark past… Devlins Reach in the Hawkesbury River is known for its secluded location and picturesque beauty. But within its tight-knit community of loggers, store owners and tight-lipped locals, a killer is on the loose. When three bodies are unearthed in an excavation site, park ranger and wilderness expert Taylor Bridges is called in to help local po An isolated town with a dark past… Devlins Reach in the Hawkesbury River is known for its secluded location and picturesque beauty. But within its tight-knit community of loggers, store owners and tight-lipped locals, a killer is on the loose. When three bodies are unearthed in an excavation site, park ranger and wilderness expert Taylor Bridges is called in to help local police, and he discovers the town has an unsettling history. But Taylor has a past of his own that still haunts him and his family. As a torrential storm grows closer, The Reach goes into lockdown. With no way in or out, Taylor finds himself in race against the power of nature to catch the killer before the whole town goes under.

48 review for The Reach

  1. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    4.5★ “Taylor stopped … He’d heard a sound ahead. The blanket of mist altered his perception and he could feel the vapours adhering to his skin. His breath felt shallow, and he could hear his heart beating in his ears. He peered ahead, willing the curtain of mist to part, but there was only the sound of leaves and gumnuts falling with a patter to the forest floor. He tried to shake off the feeling of being watched, but remained on guard all the same, realising that he had felt this way since cross 4.5★ “Taylor stopped … He’d heard a sound ahead. The blanket of mist altered his perception and he could feel the vapours adhering to his skin. His breath felt shallow, and he could hear his heart beating in his ears. He peered ahead, willing the curtain of mist to part, but there was only the sound of leaves and gumnuts falling with a patter to the forest floor. He tried to shake off the feeling of being watched, but remained on guard all the same, realising that he had felt this way since crossing to the Reach on the ferry.” The Reach is Devlins Reach, on the ‘other’ side of the beautiful Hawkesbury River, to the west and north of Sydney, which many readers will know from Kate Grenville's The Secret River series. The author has chosen a completely believable spot, virtually inaccessible except by ferry (a small one, not a Sydney Harbour ferry!), and only in good weather. Of course, the action takes place almost exclusively during torrential storms, which gives us a kind of locked-room mystery, which is always mind-tickling. The story opens with a news photographer at a dig site studying buried riverboats, where he uncovers “the picture that roared”. Three bodies. Victorian National Parks Ranger Taylor Bridges is asked to assist the investigation in Dharug National Park, NSW, because of his success in other remote area investigations. We’ve met him earlier in The Crossing (Tasmania) and The Falls (Victoria). He’s a family man. He and wife Maggie now have a little girl, Erin, but he is still badly shaken by the disappearance and death of their first little girl, Claire. What’s more, Erin now ‘hears’ Claire talking to her. “‘Can a person be born bad? Or do you have to learn how to be bad?’ Taylor struggled to reply. ‘That’s a strange question,’ he managed. ‘Why do you want to know?’ ‘No reason.’ She yawned deeply. ‘Claire said that you need to be careful.’ Taylor felt the usual wave of grief at hearing Claire’s name, more intensely when it came from Erin’s lips.‘Careful?’ He stroked her silken cheek. ‘Careful of what?’ But she was asleep and didn’t reply. Radburn is sparing with his use of Claire’s communication. It’s not in the magical realm of “look in the kitchen in the third drawer down under the tea towels”, which I think is cheating. It’s more along the lines of “watch your step” or “don’t trust the man” – the kind of thing anyone might say, but it’s just enough to give him pause because it came from such an odd source. He meets a professor at the dig site. “Taylor was about to explain his role when Jaimie broke in. ‘Ranger Bridges is a specialist in remote crime scenes.’ His eyes met hers. ‘I am?’ He had never heard the term before. “Remote Crime Scene Specialist”. He liked it. He’s flattered, but they are rangers, not cops. The police presence is one constable and Detective Sergeant Everett, who’s a bit out of his depth. Sincere but nervously waiting for backup. “That was Everett to a T … the chronic observer. He had been since the day he made his own detective kit when he was a kid and solved his first case. The scene, Richmond Primary School; the case, the missing jelly-bean jar.” On his way across the river, Taylor had asked about what the local police had found. “The ferryman laughed, which progressed into a wet smoker’s cough. He recovered, spat over the side. ‘The Reach hasn’t had a policeman since 1989.’ He drew in another lungful of smoke. ‘Policing is handled from outside. But you’re dealing with loggers here, and they tend to sort out their differences long before the cops can get involved.’” You may recall my mentioning the weather. The ferry is cut off from the mainland and the winds are so horrific that no helicopters can land, so Everett is without police backup. The loggers are a transient group, and some seem like a dangerous bunch. What’s more, the three bodies are only the start. The body-count not only rises, the murders happen almost in front of us. Everybody is nervous now, even some of the loggers. “Taylor understood he was distracted, but also his apprehension – there was foreboding in Everett’s eyes. The ranger knew that look – that feeling – intimately. He’d been through the same thing the detective was going through now: being an ordinary man wrapped up in an extraordinary dilemma.” It’s a wild, wet, thrilling investigation, and I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying I’m glad to see Taylor lives to fight another day. (Not everyone else does, though.) Thanks to NetGalley and Pantera Press for the preview copy of a another terrific Aussie read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This third book in B. Michael Radburn's Taylor Bridges series, takes Taylor away from his family in Victoria to a national park two hours from Sydney on the Hawkesbury River. As a park ranger he has previously been involved in solving mysteries in rugged national parks and has been called in by police to assist when three mutilated bodies are found in the wreckage of a boat in rugged country (view spoiler)[although it was never really clear to me why his expertise as a park ranger was needed to This third book in B. Michael Radburn's Taylor Bridges series, takes Taylor away from his family in Victoria to a national park two hours from Sydney on the Hawkesbury River. As a park ranger he has previously been involved in solving mysteries in rugged national parks and has been called in by police to assist when three mutilated bodies are found in the wreckage of a boat in rugged country (view spoiler)[although it was never really clear to me why his expertise as a park ranger was needed to early in the investigation, especially with a ranger already on site (hide spoiler)] . The murders have all been committed in the last six months and will not be the last to occur in this novel. When Taylor arrives at the small town of Devlins Reach on the banks of the river he finds the only police there are a detective, DS Everett and a young inexperienced PC, Neve Fisher. The rest of the team and the forensic team have yet to arrive and with the weather closing in as a large storm approaches Everett is concerned that they may be further delayed as the only way in is by ferry. The town also serves a logging camp next to the park and the local pub is usually full of rugged loggers, especially once logging comes to a halt when the ferry is closed as they can no longer transport logs. Between the threat of the weather and the possibility of flooding, the isolation of the town with no ferry and the restlessness of the loggers concerned about the murders, the tension in the town becomes palpable. It's no better out in the bush where Taylor has the sense that someone very good at stalking and hunting is hiding from them. As with the previous novels in the series, the natural setting is well described to give a good feel of its ruggedness and natural beauty. Everett and Taylor worked well together as a team, and Everett's on-the-fly forensic work was well done, although I did feel sorry for young PC Fisher left out in the bush for two days guarding the bodies on her own. The climax was very suspenseful as Everett and Taylor realised exactly what the murderer still planned to do and enjoyed the plot twist (view spoiler)[but would have like a bit more explanation of how and why it came about (hide spoiler)] . With thanks to Pantera Press and Netgalley for a copy to read

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    When Taylor Bridges was contacted at his home in Victoria with a request to go to the small town of Devlins Reach on the NSW Hawkesbury River, he had no idea what was ahead of him. Taylor’s reputation had preceded him; as a wilderness expert/park ranger who had assisted in mysteries which involved murder before, and with three bodies having been uncovered at Devlins Reach, it seemed his expertise was needed. Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett was in charge with Constable Neve Fisher keeping watch o When Taylor Bridges was contacted at his home in Victoria with a request to go to the small town of Devlins Reach on the NSW Hawkesbury River, he had no idea what was ahead of him. Taylor’s reputation had preceded him; as a wilderness expert/park ranger who had assisted in mysteries which involved murder before, and with three bodies having been uncovered at Devlins Reach, it seemed his expertise was needed. Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett was in charge with Constable Neve Fisher keeping watch over the bodies until reinforcements arrived. Taylor’s last leg of his journey was on the ferry over the river to Devlins Reach, where he met with his counterpart, NSW National Parks Ranger, Jaimie Barlow who took him to the site where he met Everett. Together they tried to work out who the bodies were, why they were where they were, and how long they’d been there. With a violent storm heading their way, the ferry was stopped, and Devlins Reach cut off. Back up in the form of the state’s Task Force had no way of getting to the town, and newly murdered victims began appearing. Time – and Mother Nature – was against them. Could they find the murderer before it was way, way too late? The Reach is the 3rd in the Taylor Bridges series by Aussie author B. Michael Radburn and it was well-written, intense and had plenty of chills (not just the weather!) I guessed the perpetrator early in the piece but that didn’t lessen my thorough enjoyment of the race to the finish line. I’ve loved each and every book in this series, as well as others this author has written – I’m looking forward to the next. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This third book about Ranger Taylor Bridges takes place in the Dharug National Park north of Sydney. Three mutilated bodies have been found near the small town of Devlin's Reach on the Hawkesbury River and Taylor is requested to attend and use his previous experience of solving crime in the bush. In charge of the crime scene are D.S. Everett and P.C. Fisher, both of whom are inexperienced. This crime is way out of their league but before help can arrive the weather changes and access to the town This third book about Ranger Taylor Bridges takes place in the Dharug National Park north of Sydney. Three mutilated bodies have been found near the small town of Devlin's Reach on the Hawkesbury River and Taylor is requested to attend and use his previous experience of solving crime in the bush. In charge of the crime scene are D.S. Everett and P.C. Fisher, both of whom are inexperienced. This crime is way out of their league but before help can arrive the weather changes and access to the town is closed. Then the murders continue. They are weird and gruesome and Radburn steps up the spookiness with his descriptions of the surroundings at night and with a few paranormal warnings. It is all pretty tense and the action continues all through the book. I did guess the killer fairly early on, partly because the possibilities were limited, but this did not spoil my enjoyment of the book. Well written, excellent setting, well described characters and a clever mystery. All good! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm Extraordinaire

    4.5 Stars I don't read too many books set in Australia. Not really sure why, but after finishing this one, it's definitely on my list to do more often! This was a fantastic read. Well written. Action packed. Gripping. Dark and atmospheric. It had me riveted and turning the pages. That said, I will admit I figured out part of the "who is doing it" very early on. The cast of characters is quite small, and I think that made it easier to pick out the most likely suspect. Having said that, the author 4.5 Stars I don't read too many books set in Australia. Not really sure why, but after finishing this one, it's definitely on my list to do more often! This was a fantastic read. Well written. Action packed. Gripping. Dark and atmospheric. It had me riveted and turning the pages. That said, I will admit I figured out part of the "who is doing it" very early on. The cast of characters is quite small, and I think that made it easier to pick out the most likely suspect. Having said that, the author had a few twists up his sleeve that took me by surprise! This is also the third book in what I assume is an ongoing series. However, if you haven't read the first two, don't let that stop you from reading this one. I haven't read the other books and had no issues. It works very well as a standalone story. I don't really have much more to say about it. I enjoyed it tremendously, and it gets two very solid thumbs up from yours truly. **ARC Via NetGalley**

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike Musings Book Reviews

    This is the third in the Taylor Bridge series about a Park Ranger, but I had not read any of B Michael Radburn books previously. A photographer awaits a ferry to cross the river into a National Park, he is under pressure to deliver for his editor. So begins this riveting Australian crime drama. As bad weather sets in, more bodies are discovered and there is a serial killer on the loose. The tension mounts as the mystery deepens and the past intrudes as the hunt focus on some local. A haunting cr This is the third in the Taylor Bridge series about a Park Ranger, but I had not read any of B Michael Radburn books previously. A photographer awaits a ferry to cross the river into a National Park, he is under pressure to deliver for his editor. So begins this riveting Australian crime drama. As bad weather sets in, more bodies are discovered and there is a serial killer on the loose. The tension mounts as the mystery deepens and the past intrudes as the hunt focus on some local. A haunting crime novel with great characters that captures the atmosphere and stormy environment. A terrific read, even as a standalone with a four-star rating. With thanks to NetGalley and the author for a preview copy for review purposes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    4.5★ January 2021 has been Taylor Bridges month for me, starting at the beginning and culminating in this latest, the third in the series. Each book gets better and better, and The Reach had me on the edge of my seat for most of the book, earning the series a place in my short, firm favourite Aussie Crime list. With his reputation as a remote crime scene specialist now firmly established, Taylor is invited to Devlins Reach on the Hawkesbury River in NSW to help the police with 3 contemporary bodie 4.5★ January 2021 has been Taylor Bridges month for me, starting at the beginning and culminating in this latest, the third in the series. Each book gets better and better, and The Reach had me on the edge of my seat for most of the book, earning the series a place in my short, firm favourite Aussie Crime list. With his reputation as a remote crime scene specialist now firmly established, Taylor is invited to Devlins Reach on the Hawkesbury River in NSW to help the police with 3 contemporary bodies discovered in an archaeological dig. Devlins Reach is a small town past its heyday, these days existing mainly to service the nearby logging operation. It no longer has its own police presence, and the only way in or out is via the ferry crossing. When Taylor arrives his local contact, Ranger Jaime Barlow, takes him to the site where he finds recently promoted DS (maybe-he's-not-as-young-as-he-looks) Ryan Everett in charge of the crime scene until forensics and additional resources arrive. To give him a hand, equally young female Constable Fisher is there to manage access to the site. But with a fierce storm brewing, the ferry is shut down and the extra resources can't get across the river. Then as the weather settles in, the bodycount begins to rise, and there is only Everett, Taylor, Jaime and Fisher available to stop the Hoodoo (local superstition) from killing more loggers. I loved that Taylor was back in the thick of the action again for this instalment. Although DS Everett was definitely running the investigation, his inexperience and lack of resources meant that he really relied on Taylor as more than just a location/environment consultant. And the two worked really well together. Normally a character like Everett would annoy me a bit, but this 27yo has enough self-awareness to realise his own shortcomings and know when to accept help. He was also more thoughtful than I would have expected, in regard to poor Constable Fisher, left out at the dig site with just her police vehicle and a horticultural book for days (and nights) on end. It'd be nice to see the Everett character reappear in the future. The crime/mystery was one that really caught my imagination, too, with the stakes continuing to rise throughout the story. When the big clues were dropped it was a bit clunky and obvious, but I didn't mind because half of the entertainment was seeing how long it would take for Taylor and the others to catch on. Which they did, as the weather worsened and the creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere went through the roof. As with the previous books, Radburn provides the reader with exquisitely visual descriptions of the Australian landscape. It's something he does so well, and once again I can imagine this translating well to the screen. Although this book contains references to the earlier ones in the series, I think it could be read as a standalone. But the whole series is well worth reading, so I'd recommend reading in order, to avoid plot spoilers. With thanks to NetGalley and Pantera Press for an early copy to read and review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    This novel is the latest release for B. Michael Radburn in his Taylor Bridges series and is the first novel in the series that I have read. It does not feel to me as though I needed to read the earlier novels to follow this one, although the novel makes regular allusions and references to events in previous novels that have shaped the central character. In this novel, Taylor Bridges, Park Ranger with Parks Victoria, is on loan to NSW police when three bodies are discovered at an archeological di This novel is the latest release for B. Michael Radburn in his Taylor Bridges series and is the first novel in the series that I have read. It does not feel to me as though I needed to read the earlier novels to follow this one, although the novel makes regular allusions and references to events in previous novels that have shaped the central character. In this novel, Taylor Bridges, Park Ranger with Parks Victoria, is on loan to NSW police when three bodies are discovered at an archeological dig in the Hawkesbury River area of Greater Sydney. One of the struggles I had at the outset of this novel was the setup that takes Taylor Bridges to NSW to work on a triple homicide at the behest of Parks & Wildlife NSW and the NSW Police. It’s not clear from the triple homicide what expertise of Bridges is actually required; the argument given is that he has solved remote-location murders before (references to events of earlier novels support this) and so was called in. I thought that would be incredibly generous of NSW Police who must be quite in touch with their own expertise deficiencies to invite an external expert in to their investigation so early. Generous, and uncommon. And when I say early, I mean early. So early that the bodies are only 24 hours from first discovery and still in situ when Bridges is called in; to put that in perspective, in the time it takes for official notification to police, for the police to reach out to Parks Victoria, who then reach out to Taylor Bridges, who the following day then flies to Sydney, travels to the Hawkesbury River roughly two hours from Sydney airport, checks in to the local hotel and then travels to a remote archeological site, the bodies are still in situ without having undergone specialist forensic examination, nor any senior detective been on hand outside of a local detective sergeant. Sydney is not New York. A triple homicide is highly likely to command swift and comprehensive attention by the NSW police, not the 48 hour delay that the book sets up because they’re busy elsewhere. I’ve been reading quite a few Aussie noir novels lately and so was really looking forward to this one. However, I found the writing lacked depth and sophistication, and the crime plot itself obvious and unchallenging to me as a reader. Because the central protagonist is a Park Ranger, Radburn set up a dual perspective here, with the other perspective being local Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett, who feels to have the dominant narrative perspective in terms of the investigation. The lack of character development and distinction between these two male characters, meant that as I read, sometimes I thought I was reading one character’s perspective, but I was actually reading the other’s, so interchangeable did I find their narrative voice. An aspect of the novel that I did enjoy was the landscape and environmental detail, being personally intimate with the Hawkesbury River area and suburbs mentioned, such as Windsor. I love to find Australian crime writers telling local stories, rather than emulating US crime writers. The Reach does bring alive the area and the communities around the Hawkesbury River area, including the different ferry crossings. Whilst the novel didn’t hit the right notes for me, I recognise that I am a tough critic when it comes to crime, consuming a large and robust diet of crime novels from around the world. There will be other readers who will enjoy this ride for the uncomplicated pleasure it offers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    4.5★s The Reach is the third book in the Taylor Bridges series by Australian author, B. Michael Radburn. The audio is read by Ric Herbert. Caught between the frustrating delays imposed by official channels and an impatient editor, Sydney photojournalist Brewer Hutch takes up the offer of two local teens who claim they can get him into the dig site at Devlins Reach. Hutch wants shots of the boat hulks that lay buried in reclaimed land north of the town; they enter via a sinkhole; he gets something 4.5★s The Reach is the third book in the Taylor Bridges series by Australian author, B. Michael Radburn. The audio is read by Ric Herbert. Caught between the frustrating delays imposed by official channels and an impatient editor, Sydney photojournalist Brewer Hutch takes up the offer of two local teens who claim they can get him into the dig site at Devlins Reach. Hutch wants shots of the boat hulks that lay buried in reclaimed land north of the town; they enter via a sinkhole; he gets something far grislier. “The three figures sat crossed-legged against the far wall, shoulder to shoulder… bodies placed beside each other, several months apart… the lacerations were pre-mortem.” At the request of NSW Police, Victoria Parks Ranger Taylor Bridges arrives in Devlins Reach, a tributary of the Hawkesbury River. Jaimie Barlow, the local National Parks ranger, escorts him to the site, where he meets a newly-minted Detective Sergeant, Ryan Everett, whose remit, with the assistance of a young Constable, is to secure the area and hold the fort until the State Crime Command’s task force arrives. Below ground, the scene is indeed as hideous as the photo suggested: three men sit, dead, posed; their injuries prevented escape; the mutilations clearly send a message, but to whom, exactly, and about what? A symbol painted on the back of a cabin door intrigues them: a clue, a distractor? Taylor alerts Everett to the weather implications: a severe weather event heading their way, creating a sense of urgency. To his dismay, Everett learns of the mounting probability, both of the river surging through his crime scene and of the winds preventing the helicopter from landing with reinforcements. While he tries to keep a tight rein on information, with regards the locals, might Everett’s approach to the case be unhelpful? He’s told: “You’re gonna find the Reach a whole lot different to the city. People here are used to cleaning their own laundry, not having others come in to clean it for them.” Taylor is one of several who point out that involving the townspeople may foster greater co-operation. And anyway, “It’s a small town and word travels faster than the internet around here” The young detective does his best to identify the three, figuring this will point to motive, but before he gets a result, there’s another murder, with similar features: clearly the killer is not yet done. He and Taylor hasten to make sense of snippets of information they garner: itinerant loggers, a now-closed children’s home, and a decades-ago abduction. The storm rages, a felled tree plunges the town into darkness, the river laps at the top of the levee banks and a case of dynamite is reported missing: the story rushes headlong into a dramatic climax, and by the final pages, there’s a sizeable body count for this small service town. Radburn’s characters have depth and appeal: his novice police detective is smart and resourceful, a talented improviser, but still inexperienced, thus well out of his depth, and trying to channel his deceased mentor for inspiration; he gives sound advice to a young woman who seems to be a police officer almost by default. Radburn’s fans will already be familiar with the Victoria Parks ranger, a model of dedication and integrity. There’s a hint of paranormal concerning Taylor’s daughter that will likely fascinate readers, and Taylor has cause, more than once, to recall his wife’s admonition on his departure: “‘Family first,’ she said. ‘If things get too hot, you walk away. And when it’s done, leave it out there.’” This third book of the series could easily be read as a stand-alone, but it does have some spoilers for the previous books. Radburn expertly builds the tension, and his descriptive prose superbly renders the wilderness setting. Excellent Aussie crime fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandi Wallace

    4.5 stars. More in my next Good Reads blog at www.sandiwallace.com/blog/. Advance review copy received with thanks from the publisher. 4.5 stars. More in my next Good Reads blog at www.sandiwallace.com/blog/. Advance review copy received with thanks from the publisher.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The third instalment in B. Michael Radburn's Taylor Bridges series takes us to the Dharug National Park, in the Hawkesbury River region of NSW's central coast. In the course of documenting an archaeological dig at (fictional) Devlins Reach on the Hawkesbury River, a Sydney photojournalist stumbles across the remains of three men, whose mutilations suggest that a particularly vicious serial killer may be active in the area. Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett is dispatched to the scene, The third instalment in B. Michael Radburn's Taylor Bridges series takes us to the Dharug National Park, in the Hawkesbury River region of NSW's central coast. In the course of documenting an archaeological dig at (fictional) Devlins Reach on the Hawkesbury River, a Sydney photojournalist stumbles across the remains of three men, whose mutilations suggest that a particularly vicious serial killer may be active in the area. Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett is dispatched to the scene, in advance of a full contingent from the NSW Crime Command and Forensics Services. Junior constable Neve Fisher is already in attendance, guarding the crime scene. Meanwhile, in eastern Victoria, Park Ranger Taylor Bridges receives a request from NSW police to assist. On arrival in Devlin's Reach, he meets Jaimie Barlow, the parks ranger stationed at Dharug National Park, and liaises with D.S. Everett over how they should proceed. An approaching severe storm prevents the expected police backup from reaching them and requires the removal of evidence from the crime scene, before the river level rises and the whole area is flooded. Making the best of a difficult situation, Everett and Bridges team up to begin investigating the murders, with Fisher and Barlow's assistance. Devlin's reach is an insular community, built around the river ferry and logging activity in the hills behind the town. The locals are suspicious of the incoming police and reticent to provide any helpful information. When another man is brutally murdered after leaving the local hotel, the tension rises, as the weather worsens. Bridges and Everett begin to build tenuous relationships with some of the locals, uncovering decades of troubling history at Devlins Reach - the abduction of two young girls from a now closed children's home, the unexplained disappearances of several workers from the logging camp and a vengeful presence, watching and waiting in the bushland surrounding them. B. Michael Radburn's depictions of his Australian bushland settings are really high quality, with the landscape and weather closely interwoven with his plots. While I'm not familiar with this area myself, I found Radburn's writing brought to life the scrubby hillsides, dilapidated bush tracks and struggling town on the banks of the river. The central and supporting characters are also well-developed and believable. The paranormal element, in that Taylor's surviving child Erin purports to pass prescient messages to him from his deceased older daughter, Claire, is an intriguing sub-plot, but doesn't detract from the central investigative plot line. Radburn is insightful in depicting Taylor's inner dialogue, as well as that of D.S. Everett, who feels completely out of his depth at various stages of the investigation. The Devlins Reach locals, including the drunkard ferry operator and his two rather helpful and willing young sons, Taylor's loquacious host at the local cafe-cum-B&B and the irascible loggers whose work is on hold due to the storm, are three-dimensional and convincing. Radburn has also managed to incorporate his own recreational interest in Harley Davidson motorcycles into the plot on this occasion. However, I found that I really had to suspend my disbelief with regard to several aspects of the plot. While the setting is wild and it's believable that some areas might be temporarily inaccessible during periods of bad weather and high water, the isolation depicted overstretched reality. The Dharug National Park is a little over an hour's drive from the Sydney CBD, and even in the most inclement weather, it's inconcievable that a full murder team wouldn't be dispatched within hours to secure the scene of a triple homicide. Of course, that would ruin the premise of Radburn's story, but it did bug me, as did several other aspects of the plot, as well as the behaviour and motivations attributed to certain characters, which I won't detail due to spoilers. Like other reviewers, the limited cast of characters meant that I'd indentified the most likely murderer very early, and was proven correct. Nevertheless, it was an action-packed and thrilling read, with a few shocking turns of events and twists right up until the final pages. I'd recommend The Reach to readers who enjoy well-plotted Aussie noir, but would warn that this may not be a suitable book for all readers, due to the frequent references to child sexual abuse and exploitation. My thanks to the author, B. Michael Radburn, publisher Pantera Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    Taylor Bridges is back! We first met Park Ranger Taylor Bridges in Tasmania in The Crossing, then caught up with him in Gippsland Victoria in The Falls, and this time he's on secondment to the Hawkesbury River in NSW. Bridges has earned a reputation as a remote crime scene specialist and this time he's heading into a remote logging community called Devlins Reach. With a population of only 320 people, Devlins Reach is accessible by ferry across the Hawkesbury River. Taylor has been asked to employ Taylor Bridges is back! We first met Park Ranger Taylor Bridges in Tasmania in The Crossing, then caught up with him in Gippsland Victoria in The Falls, and this time he's on secondment to the Hawkesbury River in NSW. Bridges has earned a reputation as a remote crime scene specialist and this time he's heading into a remote logging community called Devlins Reach. With a population of only 320 people, Devlins Reach is accessible by ferry across the Hawkesbury River. Taylor has been asked to employ his unique set of skills to assist Detective Sergeant (DS) Ryan Everett in the investigation into the remains of three men discovered at an excavation site. Radburn's skill at capturing the Australian bush is in full swing again and the isolated environment almost becomes a character of its own as the river swells and a huge weather event is on the way. Small town characters feature throughout the book as DS Everett and Taylor Bridges attempt to identify the men and establish who may have wanted to harm them. The history of the island is full of secrets and unexplained disappearances and the locals are reluctant to talk; preferring to keep their secrets to themselves. Bridges shares his beliefs on energy and history which adds to the tension: "I believe when something bad happens - and I mean something truly wicked - it can leave a stain, some kind of residue on the place; a memory that can't be wiped clean. Nothing to do with spectres, things that go bump in the night; it's more grounded than that, as if the energy sparked during that wicked deed remains burning somehow." Page 106 The Reach has a dark and otherworldly undercurrent, with an old logger's tale about a Hoodoo that takes on many forms and is responsible for men disappearing from the logger's camp. Taylor's daughter is channelling warnings from her deceased sister Claire that may or may not be relevant to the case. Many locals believe in a dark power and it's up to the reader to decide if any of it is real or not. I really enjoyed this duality and it certainly added to my reading experience. With limited resources at hand and zero back up available, Bridges and Everett make a great team. We hear from them in alternating chapters that makes for an entertaining and convincing crime-solving endeavour. The Reach can be comfortably read as a stand alone with a few references to Taylor's background enough to inform the reader, however I do recommend you start at the beginning in order to enjoy the character arc and understand how Taylor has found himself with this unique set of skills. This series continues to be cinematic, and I can easily imagine Bridges holding his own with many of the other single name crime and mystery solving specialists on our TV screens, like: Bones, Bosch, Cardinal, Castle, Chance, Dexter, Goliath, Harrow, House, Lucifer, Luther, Sherlock, Strike, River and Wallander. Okay, sorry, I think I got a little carried away there. Obviously single name TV shows are a 'thing' I enjoy and I totally think Bridges should be added to their company. I really enjoy the continuity in the titles of this series, Glorys Crossing becomes The Crossing, The Falls is the location of the second book and Devlins Reach becomes The Reach. In listening to an interview with the author on the Good Reading podcast, I've learned the next book in the series is called The Wells which will be taking Taylor Bridges up north to the Northern Territory. What a terrific Australian crime series this is turning out to be; with each book set in a different state of Australia, readers are able to journey around the country with Taylor, solving crimes in national parks and rural and remote locations as they go. I'll definitely be looking forward to Taylor's next interstate secondment. * Copy courtesy of Pantera Press *

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    When three bodies are discovered in the Dharug National Park near Sydney, Taylor Bridges’s boss Brian Ross asks Taylor to help with the police investigation upon their request. The three men were found in a boat hulk buried in an archaeology dig site up north in Devlins Reach.  The dig site is being overseen by a Professor Clayborn, from the University of Sydney, custodians of the dig site. Taylor would be working with a fellow ranger named James Barlow who suggested Taylor in the first place.   T When three bodies are discovered in the Dharug National Park near Sydney, Taylor Bridges’s boss Brian Ross asks Taylor to help with the police investigation upon their request. The three men were found in a boat hulk buried in an archaeology dig site up north in Devlins Reach.  The dig site is being overseen by a Professor Clayborn, from the University of Sydney, custodians of the dig site. Taylor would be working with a fellow ranger named James Barlow who suggested Taylor in the first place.   Taylor Bridges works as a ranger with Parks Victoria and would be working alongside Detective Sergeant Ryan Everett. The bodies of the men were mutilated and their Achilles’ tendons slashed, then the killer left a symbol on the door of the cabin where they were found. Then another local goes missing and the police suspect it might be connected to the bodies at the dig. The local’s body is later recovered at the site where he first went missing, with his lips sliced off and a writing in red across his forehead. A solid detective story set in the Australian outback. 🦘 Definitely recommend.  Many thanks to B. Michael Radburn, NetGalley, and for the ARC of this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    Nice and Dark!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tien

    tba

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josie ❃The Bubbly Book Reviewer❃

    Check out all my reviews: https://www.instagram.com/bubblybookr... or https://www.facebook.com/BubblyBookRe... B. Michael Radburn and his editing team have some serious talent. This book was written to draw the reader into its story. You feel yourself being pulled into The Reach chapter by chapter. Waiting with anticipation to find out what clues will be found next and what motivates our villain. The thing I liked most about this story is that the characters were not black and white, there were Check out all my reviews: https://www.instagram.com/bubblybookr... or https://www.facebook.com/BubblyBookRe... B. Michael Radburn and his editing team have some serious talent. This book was written to draw the reader into its story. You feel yourself being pulled into The Reach chapter by chapter. Waiting with anticipation to find out what clues will be found next and what motivates our villain. The thing I liked most about this story is that the characters were not black and white, there were definite shades of grey. I would recommend this book for those who like their detective mystery/thrillers to have depth in their characters and a writer who knows how to write quality fiction. What I personally didn't like and would add a trigger warning: there is mention of sexual abuse of children that is not described in detail. My favourite quote: “They made their way out, leaving the dark alls behind them. Taylor was glad to leave. As they paused on the landing, he could sense the places’ despair pressing against the timber door, wanting to burst out into the day. As he and Everett walked outside, the wind brushed Taylor’s hair and the daylight washed the place form his skin. He felt he could breathe again.” And along with Taylor, after Chapter 12, I felt like I could once again breathe in a deep breath! - The blurb from the publisher, as they do it best - An isolated town with a dark past - In secluded Devlins Reach, on the shores of the Hawkesbury River, three bodies are unearthed in an excavation site. When a wilderness expert, Park Ranger Taylor Bridges, is called in to assist local police, he soon discovers the town has an unsettling history one to match Taylor's own haunted past. But the quiet location and picturesque beauty of The Reach are hiding something darker than Taylor could have anticipated. Within the town's tight-knit community of loggers, store owners and tight-lipped locals, someone is targeting the residents one by one. As a torrential storm surges ever closer, and the river swells at the levee walls, The Reach goes into lockdown. With no way in or out, Taylor finds himself in a race against the power of nature to find a desperate killer before the whole town goes under. Thank you to NetGalley & Pantera Press for an advance copy. Book due to be released Feb 2nd, 2021.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Reach is a fantastic Australian thriller/mystery book, which follows a Parks and Wildlife officer as he lends his expertise to a murder case. The story is located in a town called Devlins Reach, which is only accessible by ferry. Taylor Bridges is a very likeable character, with his past trauma and his family being his driving force. Taylor's daughter Erin communicates with her dead sister Claire, which adds an extra layer to the mystery and complexity of this story. This new book is a great The Reach is a fantastic Australian thriller/mystery book, which follows a Parks and Wildlife officer as he lends his expertise to a murder case. The story is located in a town called Devlins Reach, which is only accessible by ferry. Taylor Bridges is a very likeable character, with his past trauma and his family being his driving force. Taylor's daughter Erin communicates with her dead sister Claire, which adds an extra layer to the mystery and complexity of this story. This new book is a great addition to B. Michael Radburn's Taylor Bridges series. I enjoyed the plot and the mystery elements of the story, although the pace in the beginning after the initial discovery was a bit slow. Once it picked up, I thought the book was excellent. I did find the lack of police personnel on the island frustrating, considering the town's miserable history, but I enjoyed the detective's POV and I would have loved to hear more about him and his history. I enjoyed the plot twist at the end, and didn't see it coming. The way the book ended left me very eager for more, and I can't wait to see where the story goes next. Thank you to NetGalley and Pantera Press for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The Reach is a locked room mystery, really a locked town mystery, set in the remote Australian town of Devlins Reach. When three semi mummified bodies are found in a buried ship, Park Ranger Taylor Bridges, experienced in the investigation of remote crime scenes, is asked to help the local police. There are two of them and they need him. The lead investigator is newly promoted Ryan Everett, his junior officer is Constable Neve Fisher. The approach of a dangerous storm means that police teams can The Reach is a locked room mystery, really a locked town mystery, set in the remote Australian town of Devlins Reach. When three semi mummified bodies are found in a buried ship, Park Ranger Taylor Bridges, experienced in the investigation of remote crime scenes, is asked to help the local police. There are two of them and they need him. The lead investigator is newly promoted Ryan Everett, his junior officer is Constable Neve Fisher. The approach of a dangerous storm means that police teams cannot fly to The Reach. Then there is another murder. Ryan and Taylor world together to understand who the victims are and why they have been killed. They know that the answer will lead them to the killer who must be known to them, a resident of the small town or a worker at the nearby lumberyard. The storm has closed the ferry and there is no way in or out of Devlins Reach. And then, another killing. As they find clues hidden in the dark history of The Reach, they begin to solve the case. But will they solve it in time to save the town itself? R. Michael Radburn has plotted a tightly written thriller with action that does not let up. I’m looking forward to the next in the Taylor Bridges series. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Pantera Press and R. Michael Radburn for this ARC.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie Schley

    Thank you to NetGalley and Pantera Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review This series is for fans of C.J. Box and Paul Doiron. The natural setting and Mother Nature are characters just as much as Park Ranger Taylor Bridges in this intricately woven mystery. When three bodies turn up at an archaeological dig, the case seems to be a cold one. And yet, it quickly heats up as Taylor works with a newly minted DS to try and figure out what a mysterious drawing means while r Thank you to NetGalley and Pantera Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review This series is for fans of C.J. Box and Paul Doiron. The natural setting and Mother Nature are characters just as much as Park Ranger Taylor Bridges in this intricately woven mystery. When three bodies turn up at an archaeological dig, the case seems to be a cold one. And yet, it quickly heats up as Taylor works with a newly minted DS to try and figure out what a mysterious drawing means while racing against a severe weather pattern that cuts them off from precious resources. Radburn truly brought the landscape alive and its ominous beauty was a significant part of this story. Not only was there the tension of multiple murders, but the added stress and drama of an impending storm cutting an already isolated town off even more from the modern world and all of its relatively safety. Secrets, storms, murder, and revenge all combine into a maelstrom of tensions and mystery that works very well and crafts a good read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Radburn's story is a fast paced mystery that feels leaves the reader needing to know what happens. The storyline feels like a contemporary Agatha Christie novel - the characters, setting and plot are all well developed, realistic, and full of twists, turns and secrets. Just when you think you have figured it out, you find out more information, leaving you wondering. In addition to a solid, well paced plot, the character development is well done. You grow to love certain characters, despite - or m Radburn's story is a fast paced mystery that feels leaves the reader needing to know what happens. The storyline feels like a contemporary Agatha Christie novel - the characters, setting and plot are all well developed, realistic, and full of twists, turns and secrets. Just when you think you have figured it out, you find out more information, leaving you wondering. In addition to a solid, well paced plot, the character development is well done. You grow to love certain characters, despite - or maybe because - of their flaws. You feel as though you have met and gotten to know them, and become invested in their well being and the final outcome. Although I wouldn't teach this in my classroom, this is a novel I would love to add to my silent reading library. This is a story that will resonate with anyone who loves a good mystery, and doesn't mind curling up with a book that makes you shiver.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angelica Ayala

    I could feel the cold seeping deep down inside my bones while reading this outstanding novel. I couldn't figure out if it was from the amazingly descriptive scenery (cold, 🥶wet, stormy) of small town life in Devlin's Reach created by this super talented author OR from the book premise itself. Small town life is definitely NOT for everyone...especially me. 😆 Add on the fact that you can only leave the ISLAND by ferry 😳 which is unable to run in crazy stormy weather - clinched my "never ever" desi I could feel the cold seeping deep down inside my bones while reading this outstanding novel. I couldn't figure out if it was from the amazingly descriptive scenery (cold, 🥶wet, stormy) of small town life in Devlin's Reach created by this super talented author OR from the book premise itself. Small town life is definitely NOT for everyone...especially me. 😆 Add on the fact that you can only leave the ISLAND by ferry 😳 which is unable to run in crazy stormy weather - clinched my "never ever" desire to live at such a remote place. The story was exquisitely written and had me captivated until the very end. I couldn't figure out why - then I couldn't figure out who - and then when I did my mouth dropped open. That's when my husband asked me if I figured it out! 😆 I had been giving him updates on where I was in the book and he wanted to know what shocked me. 😉 This a a definite addition to anyone's TBR list!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    🌀Ominous weather and deadly revenge: adrenalin-filled rush to beat a wily killer😳 🌏Loved this atmospheric thriller set in rural Australia. With a duo of investigators baffled by a growing death count in and near an isolated small-town, there are numerous twists and even a bit of paranormal flair provided by a six year-old passing messages from her dead sister. The stormy weather that cuts the town off and delays law enforcement reinforcements is a disturbing background for a crime spree that just 🌀Ominous weather and deadly revenge: adrenalin-filled rush to beat a wily killer😳 🌏Loved this atmospheric thriller set in rural Australia. With a duo of investigators baffled by a growing death count in and near an isolated small-town, there are numerous twists and even a bit of paranormal flair provided by a six year-old passing messages from her dead sister. The stormy weather that cuts the town off and delays law enforcement reinforcements is a disturbing background for a crime spree that just won't stop. I could not stop reading and the action-packed climax really had me primed for a major cataclysm. What a rollercoaster ride! I had not read the two preceding books in the series but it truly was not necessary. Radburn has written a winner here and the final pages left me wishing the next in the series was waiting in the wings. Thanks to Pantera publishers and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    marlin1

    The 3rd book featuring Parks ranger Taylor Bridges and wow, what a ride that was. This time Taylor is seconded to NSW Parks to help investigate the murders in a remote National Park. The small town on the edge of the park is only accessible by ferry and secrets there abound. New detective Ryan Everett is feeling a little over his head, especially when bad weather prevents help from arriving. This book had me on the edge of my seat and in the last third, my heart in my mouth. I have enjoyed this s The 3rd book featuring Parks ranger Taylor Bridges and wow, what a ride that was. This time Taylor is seconded to NSW Parks to help investigate the murders in a remote National Park. The small town on the edge of the park is only accessible by ferry and secrets there abound. New detective Ryan Everett is feeling a little over his head, especially when bad weather prevents help from arriving. This book had me on the edge of my seat and in the last third, my heart in my mouth. I have enjoyed this series more as it goes on and I really liked the character of Det Everett. I also hope he and Taylor work together again. Looking forward to see if there is another Taylor Bridges story in the pipeline. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read. Edit: I think this series can be read alone but will be better with Taylor’s backstory.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Petey Karalis

    I usually go into books having done a little bit of research, but as this was a Valentine's Day present, I went into it completely blind. Luckily for me, my girlfriend has a bit of a knack for picking books that I like! This was great! I really really enjoy books set in Australia that show off how great and diverse our regions are. Radburn's writing does an excellent job of creating a complete mental picture, vivid with detail. The plot moved along well, and each character was sufficiently fleshe I usually go into books having done a little bit of research, but as this was a Valentine's Day present, I went into it completely blind. Luckily for me, my girlfriend has a bit of a knack for picking books that I like! This was great! I really really enjoy books set in Australia that show off how great and diverse our regions are. Radburn's writing does an excellent job of creating a complete mental picture, vivid with detail. The plot moved along well, and each character was sufficiently fleshed out in these 350ish pages. (I especially love the villain!) I hadn't heard of Radburn before now, but I'm eager to pick up his other books. (especially for my OCD, I can't only have book 3 on my shelf) Highly recommend :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tanya E

    Hold on to your hats, folks! This thrill-ride takes off at full speed and doesn’t stop until the last page! I loved it!! Ranger Taylor Bridges is requested to help solve the case of 3 mutilated bodies found in a sunken boat in the Dharug National Park, north of Sydney, Australia. The National Park is on an island, of sorts, cut off from the rest of the mainland and only accessible by ferry. As Bridges arrives and partners with the onsite Detective and Park Ranger to begin the investigation, all h Hold on to your hats, folks! This thrill-ride takes off at full speed and doesn’t stop until the last page! I loved it!! Ranger Taylor Bridges is requested to help solve the case of 3 mutilated bodies found in a sunken boat in the Dharug National Park, north of Sydney, Australia. The National Park is on an island, of sorts, cut off from the rest of the mainland and only accessible by ferry. As Bridges arrives and partners with the onsite Detective and Park Ranger to begin the investigation, all hell breaks loose. A fierce storm is headed their way, a horrible, decades long secret is exposed and the 3 mutilated bodies that prompted Bridges’ arrival are just the beginning of the body count. While technically book 3 of a series, this book is easily read as a stand-alone. I would highly recommend this book to all Thriller lovers. I’ll be looking forward to future installments of this series (after I go back and read the first two books) as I loved the Taylor Bridges character and the author’s writing style. Excellent read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Johnston

    I really enjoyed this book, and it would have got 5 stars if not for a few minor quibbles. Despite the weather situation I felt 3 bodies would have meant more police resources deployed one way or the other; and the slightly 'spiritualism' aspect to some characters. Taylor Bridges continues to grow and mature as a character, looking forward to the next book in this series. I really enjoyed this book, and it would have got 5 stars if not for a few minor quibbles. Despite the weather situation I felt 3 bodies would have meant more police resources deployed one way or the other; and the slightly 'spiritualism' aspect to some characters. Taylor Bridges continues to grow and mature as a character, looking forward to the next book in this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John McDonald

    Taylor Bridges is no Joe Pickett, andMichael Radburn no C J Box - but the story is quire good and the book generally a good read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  32. 4 out of 5

    Efi

  33. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  34. 4 out of 5

    Em__Jay

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nessa

  36. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Kay

  37. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Profano

  38. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Mensing

  39. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  40. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre Skaggs

  41. 4 out of 5

    Karin

  42. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

  43. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Colclasure

  44. 5 out of 5

    Kelley Kirby

  45. 4 out of 5

    Pepper Eadie

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Johnston

  47. 4 out of 5

    James

  48. 5 out of 5

    Christine Tierney

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