Man at the Window
Publisher: Bonnier Echo
When the senior cadet master at an exclusive boys’ private school in a 1960s Perth’s suburb is shot while standing in his second storey window, there is a rush to categorise the death as an unlucky accident: the product of a stray bullet from nearby roo-shooters. Enter Detective Cardilini, a man given the job as investigator because of his reputation as an alcoholic and time-server. Cardilini is grieving the death of his wife and locked in a battle at home with his son, who openly despises him. Cardilini turns out to be blunt and dogged, immune to threats and recriminations. Man at the Window develops at a cracking pace, with the main narrative punctuated by the perspective of a young student who was a victim of the paedophile murder victim. An incisive look at institutional perversity and cover-up, Man at the Window is a very promising debut novel.