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Reviewed by Jessica Jesinghaus for Readers' Favorite
Rippling Red by Brigid George is the third book in the Dusty Kent Mystery series and follows investigative journalist Dusty Kent and her steadfast assistant, Sean O'Kelly, as they try to solve a cold case (well, two actually) in Australia's lush Northern Territory. Traveling to Darwin at Sean's insistence, Dusty has been asked to look into the apparent suicide of young Cody Bongiorno. His parents are convinced the teen was coerced somehow into taking his own life. His parents are steadfast in their belief that something happened to change their son's personality in the weeks before his death. Doubtful, but unwilling to disappoint the grieving parents, Dusty agrees to look into Cody's death. In short order, Cody's investigation links to another suspicious death: that of Jerry Lewis, allegedly taken by a crocodile. But when Jerry's missing head is finally located with a bullet lodged inside, and evidence points to Cody's involvement in his death, Dusty and Sean have their hands full sorting out what really happened.
Rippling Red paints a picture of life in the Northern Territory peopled with engaging characters and a host of possible suspects. The pacing of Rippling Red was steady, if not a tad slow, with a small handful of subplots vying for your attention. The dialogue was crisp and believable, with adorable episodes of local dialect tripping up our narrator, the Irishman Sean. The secondary characters (primarily the members of both Cody's and Jerry's families) were well rendered with unique personalities and backgrounds. All told, this was a highly enjoyable story and I look forward to Dusty and Sean's next case.