Australia · review

The Dying Beach by Angela Savage

dying beachThe Dying Beach by Angela Savage

Text Publishing, April 2015

Jayne Keeney book 3

Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher.

I’m a big fan of the first book in the Jayne Keeney series, and I really liked this third entry in the series as well. Jayne, an Australian ex-pat who started a PI business after teaching English in Bangkok, is now running an agency with her partner Rajiv, and this particular installment finds them in the Krabi  on vacation. when Jayne discovers that her diving tour guide was found drowned at Princess Beach, she convinces Rajiv that they should take up the investigation pro bono, and Rajiv, the business-minded member of the agency, gives her a week.

The structure of the narrative is not traditional in the sense that Savage jumps from character to character and allows us to see quite a lot about the crimes that happen during Jayne’s seven day investigation. The big mystery returns to Pla’s death, the first in the series of crimes that occur. And, of course, the title is a mystery for quite some time as well.

There are lots of parts of the book that appeal to me. First, Jayne is not only just a touch of a bad-ass, she’s also human but not overrun with personality flaws. The environmental advocacy work that runs through this book feels organic, and the investigation of the environmental hazards of economic development are as unsettling as the other violent crimes in the book. The settings are very vivid, and the set pieces at a Buddhist temple fair, the Krabi Snake Farm, and a Buddhist funeral are very vivid. All-around this was a very satisfying read.

Other reviews appear in Whispering Gums and Fair Dinkum Crime.

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9 thoughts on “The Dying Beach by Angela Savage

  1. Yes, also very glad to hear that you liked the third of Jayne Keeney’s adventures. She’s one of my favorite women private detectives. I like her attitude, courage (boldness) and intelligence, also the fact that she speaks Thai and knows a lot about the culture of the country in which she lives. Jayne also reminds me of V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky’s Chicago detective.
    One of my favorite series and I hope to still be reading these books for years to come.
    Another bonus is that I am compelled to google search to learn about the geography, flora and fauna of Thailand, even reading up on fish that are millions of years old.
    Who said crime fiction can’t be educational? Not I.

    1. I fell down a Google rabbit hole or two as well, Kathy: glad I’m not alone. Jayne is such an appealing character to me, and I’m trying to think of female PI series more recent than Paretsky and Grafton’s that I enjoy as much as this one. So glad I found this series.

    1. Hope you like it, Tracy. Do you have any more free reading time since you aren’t doing so many challenges this year? I have less challenges but my reading has just slowed down for other reasons.

      1. I have a little more choice in my reading, which I like. At this point, my problem finding time to read seems to be related to my job and not having time to do all the things I need to do, including spending time with my husband. One month I get a lot read, the next month much less. Seems to go back and forth. Next year, even less challenges.

      2. I understand about getting busy with other things- it’s been a busy March and April for me as well. Thankfully what I do manage to read has been very good this year!

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