Under the Cold Bright Lights is a gripping page-turner of a book with a truly likable hero. Auhl must wrestle with his own morality as he faces a flawed system that threatens to allow for more harm than it prevents. Award-winning author Garry Disher expertly weaves together Auhl’s different cases and dilemmas to create an authentically Australian standalone police procedural with a memorably different kind of protagonist—one I’m hoping will be able to take his big heart and keen sense of empathy to more crime novels in the future.
Under the Cold Bright Lights is something of a problem novel. Readers expecting another stolid and heroic detective are forewarned that Disher has a somewhat different objective in mind. Fraught with moral ambiguity, the story forces us to decide whether we’re on Auhl’s side at the end or not. It’s a challenge. Under the Cold Bright Lights is well written. It reads quickly and holds our attention throughout. Disher’s characters, as always, pop from the page. The bottom line? It’s a Disher crime novel, so don’t you dare miss it.