This is the second book I’ve read that has taken place near and around the coast of Australia’s Queensland – for those of us unfamiliar with this area of Australia imagine the beaches of Florida and the casinos of Las Vegas all mixed in with crime, a lot crime and on both sides of the law. This first book was Andrew Nette’s Gunshine State (280 Steps) which I reviewed in the beginning of November.
Throughout the fall, I saw a lot of Iain Ryan’s Drainland (self-published) on the internets. This can mean two things: either that Ryan is doing a great job self-promoting the book or other readers were recommending the book. Turns out it was both.
Ryan’s Drainland takes place on Tunnel Island, a fictional place where all the cops are as honest as Vic Mackey. When we first meet Laura Romano, we find out she is a cop who has friends in all the wrong people. With a drug problem that includes anything that can be snorted or popped in her mouth, things come quickly crashing down on her as she is finally arrested. But she is offered a life-line as a spot on the Tunnel Island police force just opened up.
When we arrive on Tunnel Island with Romano, both the reader and Romano are trying to get their bearings on what is exactly happening in this decadent resort island. Throwing a not-so recovering drug addict who washes down pills with booze on an island filled with lackadaisical policemen, drugs, gambling and more drugs is a cluster fuck in the making.
Ryan has built an incredible corrupt world filled with dangerous criminals and equally dangerous cops. His writing on the Romano’s constant downfall is incredibly detailed as well as her battle to remain a cop.
Laura Romano looked like hell up close. Her eyes had a creamy red hue to them and seemed to elude focus. A ginger crop of her fringe lay greased to her forehead with sweat. She moved slowly, but was well trained. As soon as she stepped inside she went into cop mode, scanning.
Ryan has several other books on Tunnel Island with Harsh Recovery just out. And with a quick subscription to Ryan’s newsletter, he will give you the prequel, Four Days, gratis. If any of these books are half-as-good as Drainland, I will have some good reading in my new future.