Storm Child by Michael Robotham

28/06/2024
Storm Child by Michael Robotham

Storm Child is the fourth book in Australian crime writer Michael Robotham multi-award winning Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac series. And in some ways it feels like a little like a finale, or at least an opportunity to reset if Robotham is planning to continue with these characters. Given this is the fourth book in an ongoing series this review is likely to contain spoilers for earlier instalments.

Storm Child opens with what can only really be described as a contrivance. Cyrus Haven and his friend/ward (and human lie detector) Evie Cormac are on a beachside holiday. Their idyll is interrupted when bodies of illegal immigrants start to wash up on the shore. This is a contrivance only in so far as Evie herself was trafficked into Britain as an illegal immigrant and the one survivor of this tragedy, a teenage boy, happens to come from the same country as her. When Evie recognises one of the people who may well have caused the tragedy, she and Cyrus are set on a path to expose the people traffickers and those behind them. In doing so they will reveal long held secrets about Evie’s own entry into Britain.

While previous books in this series have dealt with the mystery of who Evie is and what happened to her after she came to Britain, this book allows Robotham to explore Evie’s distant past. As a result, a fair amount of this narrative is told in flashback to Evie’s early life and her harrowing journey to Britain. This, and the investigation itself, places the focus squarely on issues of migration, exploitation of migrants and the stoking of anti-migration sentiment for political gain. All of which gives Storm Child plenty of thematic resonance and interest. But in doing so, Robotham sacrifices some of the page turning pace of the previous entries in this series. Readers, likely to be deeply invested in his protagonists by this time, are unlikely to worry about this particularly as Robotham builds to a poignant and cathartic ending.

Over the course of these four books, Robotham has built great crime stories that revolve around two unique characters both informed and influenced by very different tragic backstories. They also exist in the same world and Robotham’s other long running investigator Joe O’Loughlin. By the end of Storm Child it feels like all of Cyrus and Evie’s personal stories have been explored. But that still leaves them as two great, flawed, engaging characters for Robotham to return to in future.

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Storm Child by Michael Robotham

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8.0/10

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Storm Child by Michael Robotham

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