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Author Request, Book Review, Crime, Detective Fiction, LGBQT, Mystery, Series

High-rise Blood (A Detective Chief Inspector Carter Mystery #1) by G. D. Gaherty


There’s a dark underbelly to the coffee capital of Australia.

Underneath the bright lights and clean streets of Melbourne, crime and corruption run wild. Detective Inspector Leo Carter knows it well. Returning from leave, his first assignment is leading the murder investigation of an unidentified body dumped outside a gay sauna.

At first, Carter thinks the case is a hate crime gone too far. When the bodies pile up and the list of suspects grows, Carter knows there’s more to this mystery than a gay bashing gone wrong.

But the investigation takes its toll on gay man Carter…

He’s trying to find purpose and love but won’t find them at the bottom of empty bottles and the overly positive ka-ching of the slot machine. As the pressure builds to find the killers, his vices threaten to bring him and the case down.

Welcome to Melbourne, Carter is going to give you the full tour. Where laneway graffiti and smashed avocado are just the start.


This is Mr. Gaherty’s debut novel about an Australian gay detective tracking down a shrewd killer in Melbourne.

DI Leo Carter may be in over his head. Back from an extended leave, he is heading the investigation for the murders of a growing list of people and time is running out. Is his head in the game, or will the game take everything from him?

Carter is hard to describe. He’s capable, but he’s floundering. He’s smart, but he’s careless. He’s a good detective, but he’s a gambling addict. Do I like Carter? I don’t know. His choices are not the best. The murder case he is in charge of seems to blur the lines between his personal and professional life. Bodies are dropping right and left and time is running out before he is dismissed from the case. Is it corruption, is it a jealous lover, or is it sports match fixing? Between Carter’s gambling and slight mental breakdowns, I wonder how he functions at his job. Apparently, his superiors wonder as well, but he eventually figures it out by using his own questionable methods, and the whole whodunit is revealed in good time. Did I figure out the murderer before Carter? Partly, but the author did have a unique plot among the seedy and trendy sites in Melbourne.

I could have done without Carter’s daydreaming which didn’t seem to fit in the story, and I would have liked to have known more about why Carter was on leave. There are a few Australian slang words that the reader needs to know like “poof” (a derogatory word for gay), “hoon” (a hooligan or lout), “footy” (Australian football), and “pokie” (Australian poker machines), but it doesn’t distract from the story.

The supporting characters bring more depth to the story including Carter’s supportive and soon-to-retire boss, Superintendent Davies, his smart and savvy partner DI Song, the young and impressionable Constable Zhang, the experienced Major Crimes unit lifer, Detective Perry, and the arrogant and insubordinate Detective Hillier (golden boy rich kid to the Assistant Commissioner). 

Overall, the story is gripping and intriguing as cerebral detective stories go. Mr. Gaherty has captured this reader’s attention by creating a decent and flawed new detective and depicting Melbourne with its hot climate, its bathhouses, its city politics, and its gaming sites.

Thank you to Mr. Gaherty for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


High-rise Blood

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G. D. Gaherty is a Canadian/Australian writer living in Melbourne with his cat Mooncake. He’s a lover of a good story, strong coffees, and spicy margaritas.

Follow G.D. on his website, Instagram, Twitter, and Amazon.

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