The Old Woman & the Mad Horse - Case File for: the Big Three Mining Investigations

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
A damaged ex-covert operative seeks the quiet life but has to deal with the niggling problems from the last job before she can settle in real life. More

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About Cage Dunn

Cage Dunn writes Australian stories, rural and outback in contemporary, fantasy, thriller, urban, horror, tales with a twist; about fearful things, stories in words and dreams and horrors - yours and mine.
A Storyteller, a dreamer, an imaginer. Some would say Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales.
Yep – a storyteller.
Cage was born in the wide-open landscape of inland Western Australia; lived all over the startling country of Australia - now in Adelaide - worked at everything from sewage collection to computing, and somewhere in there graduated with a BA Comm (Prof. Writing) and Grad Dip Computing.
Met a few people along the way, and they all have a story to tell ...

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Reviews

Audrey Driscoll reviewed on Feb. 6, 2020

The tension starts on the first page and doesn't let up until nearly the end. Hella Solaris is an investigator for a shadowy organization opposing a mega-corporation's efforts to gain technological domination of the earth's population. Her intent to step back from active service in a small rural community is thwarted, first by the presence of an angry horse, and then by a criminal element who wants to drive her away, and finally, by discoveries and developments that entangle the personal with the professional.
This is a thriller of sorts, but much of the action is internal. Hella gathers information, processes information, formulates theories, has "aha" moments and "oh shit" moments, weighs priorities and calculates risks. The point of view is close third person. Very close; for most of the book the reader is inside Hella's head, seeing what she sees—often on the screens of various electronic devices—following her thoughts, experiencing her emotions. The pace is dizzying and there are opportunities to lose the thread, especially when tech-related acronyms and initialisms abound. I ended up reading the book twice, to make sure I picked up on all the crucial details.
Hella is an interesting character, for a number of reasons. I can't say she's entirely likable, mainly because of her conscious and deliberate use of manipulative techniques in relating to others. She does have good reasons for this, and the two characters she ends up working with—Cam the cop and his daughter Cella—are totally relatable. There are lengthy scenes in which the three test one another's capabilities and work on trust issues.
The climax scenes involve a showdown of sorts, full of revelations and twists. I have to say, a few points seemed a bit implausible to me, but on the whole, the book comes to a satisfying and hopeful conclusion.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)

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