Set in Darwin, The Build Up is a crime novel with a distinctly Aussie feel. Penned by successful Australian author Phillip Gwynne, The Build Up has been so successful that it's being made into a 13 part TV series scheduled to air on SBS later in 2011.
Detective Dusty Buchanon is a tough no-nonsense woman helping to police the Top End when a body is discovered following a wild party at a Vietnam Veteran's camp site. Dusty has just been pulled off a high profile case she's been working on for 2 years and busted back to uniform, so she decides to focus her attention on this case instead.
Having spent 12 months in Darwin, I really enjoyed the author's authentic recreation of the setting, the weather during the 'build up', the culture of the town and the people in it - locals and tourists alike. His ability to effectively capture realistic and distinctly Australian dialogue was impressive, and the characters were occasionally very funny.
A washed out AFL player named Trigger was one of my favourite characters in the book; the author nailed his character development so well, he was just so, well, Australian!
I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this Australian made crime novel, and will be recommending it to everyone who enjoys the genre. (In fact, I've already purchased another copy as a gift). Phillip Gwynne has written six other books, received numerous awards and I'll be looking out for the TV series later in the year.
My rating = *****