29 October 2022

Review: The Carnival is Over by Greg Woodland

The Carnival is Over by Greg Woodland book cover

* Copy courtesy of Text Publishing *

There's no carnival in this story. No circus either. No carnivals, circuses, fairs or fetes. Now, onto the book. The Carnival is Over by Greg Woodland is a rural thriller set in 1971 in Moorabool, Victoria. Hal is 17 years old, working off a good behaviour bond in the local abattoir and wants to get the hell out of Moorabool. Sergeant Mick Goodenough is investigating two suspicious suicides in the area and their paths cross when Hal's workmate goes missing.

While technically this can be read as a stand alone, Hal and Sergeant Mick Goodenough were characters in The Night Whistler and The Carnival is Over is set 5 years after the events in that book.

I haven't read The Night Whistler and it was obvious to me that I missed a lot of interesting backstory and character depth and development. I was still able to follow the main plot easily enough, but my reading experience would no doubt have been richer had I done the right thing and read The Night Whistler first.

The regional setting in Victoria is instantly relatable and the small town politics were all too convincing. Fans of Chris Hammer or Jane Harper will be right at home reading Greg Woodland.

Funnily enough, I enjoyed the workplace scenes in the abattoir more than I should have. Hal is at the bottom of the pecking order, and a toxic workplace culture is entrenched in the place. It made for a tense work environment and gave readers a glimpse of what the work might really be like.

Greg Woodland is an emerging Australian author and definitely one to watch. The Carnival is Over is recommended for fans and readers of crime fiction who can't get enough Australian crime fiction, or those looking to discover a new-to-me Aussie author. 

My Rating:

Would you like to comment?

Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!