A WWII novel not set in Europe for a change, but in Perth, Australia. Yes, there was a very real Japanese threat to Australia during the war, cities and communities on the coast at high alert at this time. Perth, being the main population area on the west coast was the base for all defence activity on that side. By January 1943, US troops were camped in Perth, as well as a number of returned Australian soldiers, injured and/or redeployed back to the home land.

Meg Easton lives in Perth with her mother and sister. She works in an admin capacity at the local police station. She is terribly unhappy as the love of her life has recently been killed in action in Africa, she simply going through the motions of daily living. Quite by chance, she meets in her street, her finance's brother Tom. Tom is recently back from active service, having been seriously injured and disfigured in fighting the Japanese. He has quite a senior position, but like many is having trouble adjusting to life back in Perth, as well as dealing with the ongoing pain and trauma of his injuries.

Is it coincidence or not that the day Meg first meets Tom, not far away is also the day that her neighbour is found murdered. Meg finds herself drawn into this murder mystery, involving both Australian and American soldiers and various others who may or may not be red herrings. It is actually a good story, nicely plotted, plenty of tension and suspense, but never really tipping over into  the suspense wielded by the likes of Lynda La Plante or John Grisham for example. A pleasant, easy read with a few surprises thrown in. What the author is good at however is reimagining for the reader what life in 1940s Australia was like. Her descriptions of residential streets, houses and gardens are vivid, as are how people dressed, including the soldiers, transport, what shops were like. I loved reading this side of the story, it really brought the city and the people who lived there to life. 

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