Off Season

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Pub Date 14 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 21 Jul 2024

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Detective Ryan navigates drug overdoses, a mysterious foot on the beach and a long-buried cold case.

Detective Ramesh Ryan's career with Sydney's prestigious Organized Crime Unit is on the up, until he loses a court case against the city's most powerful drug dealer. In disgrace, the detective is relocated to the tiny Australian beach town of Barton.

It is off-season in Barton-when its few criminals usually take a well-earned rest. But not this year! With the detective's arrival, the town suddenly becomes murder central. Two bodies are discovered in the space of days, both victims of drug overdoses. Then a mysterious foot is found washed up on the beach, and memories are awoken of an unsolved cold case of the teenager who disappeared fifteen years ago. Add to this a blossoming romance, along with a contract taken out on Ryan's life, and it's clear that the detective has jumped out of the Sydney frying pan into the Barton fire.

What follows is an action-packed adventure, thrilling at every turn-where truth and lies are almost impossible to separate, and unexpected twists are the order of the day.

Detective Ryan navigates drug overdoses, a mysterious foot on the beach and a long-buried cold case.

Detective Ramesh Ryan's career with Sydney's prestigious Organized Crime Unit is on the up, until...

Advance Praise


Goodreads 5 star review Feb 4th

I really liked this book! I cannot think of one possible negative comment.

The protagonist Detective Ryan is likeable and very capable. On a personal basis, he has trouble finding a woman in his personal life and is under the constant watch of his over-concerned and overprotective mother Mumta. Mumta's need for frequent contact with Ryan made me laugh.

The bad guys were seriously bad. The main criminal Oscar Bruno is vicious and without any redeeming qualities. His closest associates were brutal. And the team of Micky and Stack were an interesting couple of villains. Stack is somewhat likable although vicious. Micky is an amusing big guy hopelessly in love with Stack who controls him.

The story itself was clever and well-written. I plan to look for another Ryan story without delay.


Goodreads 5 star review Feb 4th

I really liked this book! I cannot think of one possible negative comment.

The protagonist Detective Ryan is likeable and very capable. On a personal basis, he...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781684921478

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.

3.5 stars rounded up
I feel like the author used every idea he had for several books and consolidated them all into this one. There is A LOT going on here, and yet somehow it works. There are so many (too many) characters to track and I think it could have been a lot shorter and less repetitive. I thought I was near the end when I was only at 50%. However, short chapters kept the pace moving and I finished this is one day. A very promising start to what I hope will be a series. Detective Ryan is a fantastic character who would fit right in on the tv show Will Trent.

I hope this gets a better editing job before publication. The tremendous amount of grammatical errors and incorrect wording really distracted me.

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Detective Ryan navigates drug overdoses, a mysterious foot on the beach and a long-buried cold case! Great read!! This book had a bit of everything! It had suspense, intrigue, action, murder, mystery, a great who done it and a few crazy twists and turns! The storyline was very interesting and had me glued to my kindle! I highly recommend reading this book! Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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A page turner.
Off Season is a superb crime thriller… and whilst intricately plotted is reasonably easy to follow. Characters are interesting and whilst insight into character is not a big feature, they do hold your attention but the incredibly clever plot is definitely the feature here. It does feel like the scene has been set for much more exploration of the main character in #2, which I’m hoping will be forthcoming. Unfortunately the most amusing/terrifying baddies were killed off, including a ferret who loves nothing more than to ‘strap on the feedbag’
Hopefully this becomes a series

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organized-crime, drugs-issues, drug-trafficking, gangs, crime-thriller, NSW, Australia, lies, secrets, mistaken-identity, sociopath, murder, attempted-murder, meddling, relationships, relatives, law-enforcement, due-diligence, procedural, witness-protection*****

A couple of times I tried to put the book down because I was getting mired in the proliferation of characters. Bear in mind that a number of said characters seem like caricatures, thereby providing a good bit of snickering and snurfling and a rare guffaw or two. Like the baddie who dearly loved a pet weasel (illegal in Australia), or the antics of the overbearing meddling mother of the central character, Detective Ryan. Plenty of good investigating and some inspired plot twists and diversions. Loved it!
I requested and received a free temporary EARC from BooksGoSocial via NetGalley. Thanks!

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Drugs and severed limbs washed up on a beach is a common theme in thrillers and the reader has a good idea of what to expect.
Being a brit it was easy to sympathise with Detective Ryan who was born in the UK before moving to Australia and who hates cold weather. He was a likeable character who partly for his own protection after a case against a big drug baron is unsuccessful, is transferred from Sydney to a sleepy small coastal town when all the tourists have gone for the season. And just like many TV police series set in a village, the murder rate then shoots through the roof. He works alongside a crusty old local sergeant and young constable Zoe who is keen to learn from working with a detective in the hope of becoming one herself and the interplay between the two with initial mistrust is enjoyable. The number of murders never reaches the farcical stage and three sets of baddies end up in the town with agenda that overlap.
The pace never drops and the book is very easy to read and enjoy.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Australia is the setting for this procedural Crime Novel. After the Sydney jury verdict in his banner drug case is rigged by the mobster defendant, Detective Ryan ________ is banished – temporarily, he is told – to the humble, outpost of a beach town called Barton Beach. As the descendant of Indian parents, he never really fit in with his big city colleagues, and he is even more out of his element in his new locale, where he is assigned for work for the small town police chief, a decent enough chap but who cringes at any hint of a crime wave and a neophyte constable, a young woman of Chinese descent who tries a bit to hard to measure up.

Things are normally quiet in Barton Beach. Ryan gets a room at a nearby motel. He meets some of the townfolk, including a tavern owner and his ex, who seems to have a thing for newcomer Ryan. But then bad things start happening.

Signs of cocaine use – and death – rear their ugly heads. The Chief isn’t happy and implies that everything had been peachy in his little seaside hamlet until big city copy, Ryan, arrived. Ignoring practically everything except the evidence and proper police procedure, Ryan works to solve the murders – and to be sure that they are murders.

Evil elements converge on him, and he doesn’t have many allies either back home in Sydney or in his new, temporary locale. Having to rely on his experience, nerve, and no small amount of guile, the young detective digs in as he pursues Australia’s biggest mobster.
The story moves from scene to scene, with each one presented from a single point of view, depending on which character is the focus of that particular scene. The bad guys – and gals – are as sociopathic as they come, and behave as one would expect sociopaths to behave, especially those who don’t have regular, lawful employment.

Fans of other procedural novels, especially those set in unique locales, will enjoy this one.

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It might not be the busy season but Off Season really has things cooking. Clive Fleury sure knows how to make you want to keep reading. I will now have to read another one of his books. Even a small community can have crime like big cities. The way the characters developed in the story really works well and makes you like them and relate to them. I recommend reading this book if you are looking for crime, love and definitely deceitfulnes by a character who you never would expect it from. The twists and ending will make you say holy crap.

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🌊Lots of action for a sleepy Australian coastal town💉

The cover caught my interest and the plot was bit complex, enough so that I had to maintain concentration to keep some of the secondary characters and their connection to the main story straight. Overall, Off Season was a solid, entertaining read, unpredictable and with plenty of action and a twist revealed at the end that I never, ever suspected. A few instances of malapropisms notwithstanding, I thought the book was generally well-written.

There's no shortage of villains involved in illegal drug shipments and distribution, kidnapping, killing, blackmail and deceit. And Sydney Detective Ryan, farmed out to the small police force in Barton after the high profile organized crime case he headed failed to get a conviction. He gets to deal with a show of prejudice and some fairly uninspired and unmotivated local officers apart from senior constable Zoe Yang while figuring out how all the crime is connected.

I would definitely read more in this vein by the author.

Thanks to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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When Détective Ramesh Ryan loses a case against a gangster, it doesn't take long for his boss to have him shipped out of Sydney to an obscure seaside town, Barton. Surely, trouble can't find him there.

Wrong. Of course. There are mysterious deaths that turn out to be less innocent than they first seem. There is drug dealing. Big drug dealing, and now it seems the mob is pretty entwined with much of what goes on in this part of Australia. There are unsolved murders from way back that surely have no connection to the present. And then a foot washed up along the
ocean shore.

I the mean time, some of the local talent is showing an interest in Ryan, though the reality of being a policeman makes itself felt.
There is a rich array of characters within these pages: prickly colleagues, gangsters and their minions, murderous petty thugs. Ryan is an engaging detective, possibly a little inept with the fair sex, but far froom the cynical and trouble trope of the damaged sleuth only marginally morally less ambiguous than the wrong does he is pursuing. Being half Indian he encounters his share of prejudice, and that in itself brings about one of the cruelles twists of fate for a would-be mentee.

The plot and dialogue flow well, other big twists will await the reader: this thriller is first-class.

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