Murder in the Pacific series
Esther Paul is 12 years old. She is reported missing on Vanuatu local radio.
Two days later her body is found floating in the sea off Ifira Point in Vanuatu. Limited forensics means Sergeant George Long and Constable Jayline Oli do not know if they are investigating a murder or accident. A head wound would suggest Esther was murdered.
Who would want to kill a young school girl? What secrets is she hiding?
Given the precarious state of the Vanuatu Police Force, George and Jayline have their work cut out, being transported in Port Vila’s most decrepit and unsafe taxi van driven by Jayline’s aspiring boyfriend. George’s own unrequited love for a Vanuatu radio newsreader also impacts the investigation.
From Mele Beach at one end of Port Vila to Pango at the other, George and Jayline are challenged by Vanuatu’s broken roads, empty restaurants, confusing cultural norms as well as the extravagances and corruption of foreign aid as they attempt to solve the mysterious death.
Matt Francis’ debut novel is a tour de force both in its vivid descriptions of warts-and-all Vanuatu and its ability to suck the reader into the frustrating investigation of its likeable detective. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Colin Cotterill, best-selling crime fiction author.
I was really intrigued because the place setting is an integral “character” of the book. A great read. Emily Webb, best-selling true crime author and podcaster.
I finished reading Ifira Point and was sorry to come to the end of it. I found myself thinking “Please don’t end yet.” Dr Elizabeth Braithwaite, literary scholar.