Book review: Drain Land – Iain Ryan


The second book from Australian writer Iain Ryan is another excellent slice of dark noir. A story about crooked police officers on the seedy Tunnel Island. Ryan’s first book ‘Four Days’ was a great read. Released last year through Broken River Books, it told the story of officer Jim Harris, following him through a sweat-drenched Queensland (Australia) as he makes a string of poor decisions in his ultimate quest for redemption. ‘Four Days’ was a lean, mean crime thriller, a real foot-to-the-floor story that had this reader well impressed.

‘Drain Land’ is set some years later and again features Jim Harris, though this books main character is Laura Romano; a cop struggling to deal with everything it seems, a hopeless addict, though someone who wants to try and prove she isn’t a complete waste of time. A gruesome murder inside a hotel leads Romano into an investigation where things begin to come together slowly and the dark goings on around Tunnel Island are revealed.

‘Drain Land’ isn’t as lean, length wise as its predecessor, clocking in at over 300 pages ‘Drain Land’ works because Ryan is a more than competent writer and you feel he knows exactly where he wants the series to go. I liked this book a great deal, maybe not quite as much as ‘Four Days’, which I felt was a little more punchy but it is still very good indeed. The book is certainly not for the faint of heart. It is brutal, grim and unflinching, just like good crime fiction should be in my opinion. It isn’t entirely necessary to read ‘Four Days’ first, though I do recommend it as it is a fantastic book and gives you an introduction to the character Jim Harris.

The latest book in the series called ‘Harsh Recovery’ has recently been released, and with another book due early next year Ryan shows no signs of slowing down. He looks certain to cement himself as a serious player within the crime genre.

Pick up a copy of ‘Drain Land’ from here.

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