Read Crucifixion Creek Online

Authors: Barry Maitland

Crucifixion Creek

PRAISE FOR BARRY MAITLAND

JOINT WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL NED KELLY AWARD FOR THE BEST AUSTRALIAN CRIME NOVEL
OF 1995:
The Malcontenta

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA JOHN CREASEY AWARD FOR THE BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL OF 1994:
The Marx Sisters

‘Australia has arguably one of the top five crime writers in the world, and you may
well never have heard of him. It's Barry Maitland.'
Australian

‘A masterful writer of crime fiction who, like Michael Dibdin, has a remarkable ability
to juxtapose genres and create a book that will appeal to fans of both hard-boiled
and clue-puzzle fiction…Works sublimely on all levels.'
Sydney Morning Herald

‘Intelligent, intriguing and well thought-out.'
The Times

‘Clever, flavorsome…with a particularly deft knack of pulling the rug out from under
you in between chapters, just when you think you're safe.'
Kirkus Reviews

‘Cleverly devious, sagaciously cunning and ultimately reassuring. A pleasure to read.'
Los Angeles Times Book Review

‘A fine morsel…More, please, Mr Maitland.'
Washington Times

‘
The Malcontenta
is one of the best-crafted, best-plotted and most convincing British
thrillers for decades.'
Daily Mirror
, UK

‘Delightful…at once comic and creepy.'
Scotsman

‘An intricately plotted novel with some superbly portrayed characters…
The Malcontenta
is simply a very superior example of contemporary crime writing.'
Sydney Morning
Herald

‘Maitland's writing is suspenseful, gripping and frightening. His book is…a fine
example of modern thriller writing. Highly recommended.'
Eastern Daily Press
, UK

‘The reader is kept guessing all the way through
The Chalon Heads
, right up to the
last page. Maitland's plotting can be compared to the best of Colin Dexter and Michael
Connelly.'
Deadly Pleasures
, US

‘An unguessable plot, flowing writing and solid characters—forget the stamps, start
collecting Maitlands now.'
Morning Star
, UK

‘Maitland writes astonishingly well, has a wonderful ear for dialogue and sense of
place, a finely attuned sense of character development and a captivating and unsettling
dark side to his fiction.
The Chalon Heads
…is right up there with the best contemporary
crime fiction.'
Sydney Morning Herald

‘Well-wrought, well-paced, original and elegant.'
Australian Book Review

‘Brilliant…straight out of a top drawer that Chandler would be proud to open on deranged
nights. Maitland can make the counterfeit of fiction feel real, his prose packed
with the saturated detail that Henry James called “density of specification”.'
Australian

‘A crafty and well-crafted showpiece of the genre.'
Los Angeles Times

‘In terms of contemporary crime fiction,
Silvermeadow
is about as good as it gets.'
Courier-Mail

‘Maitland is a skilled plotter who knows how to pace a novel and steadily build the
suspense. It's a terrific read.'
Sunday Times
, UK

‘A clever plot and good characterisation make this an absorbing read with an exciting
climax.'
Sunday Telegraph
, UK

‘As a procedural,
Silvermeadow
is first-rate; as a crime thriller it is compelling;
and as a reflection of contemporary life it is fascinating.'
Dallas Morning News

‘As perfect a whodunit as you could possibly wish for. Sublime.'
Crime Time
, UK

‘Maitland gets better and better, and Brock and Kolla are an impressive team who
deserve to become household names.'
Publishing News
, UK

‘If you are a serious lover of crime fiction, ensure Maitland's Brock and Kolla series
takes pride of place in your collection.'
Australian

‘Maitland has always been a notable spinner of mysteries, but his latest case continues
to extend his range, depth, and mastery into Ruth Rendell territory.'
Kirkus Reviews

‘Maitland's puzzle becomes more complex by the zigzag, but its rapids are a pleasure
to navigate.'
Los Angeles Times Book Review

‘With a superb ear for dialogue, and characters that grow in strength and substance
in each book, Maitland's series is a firm favourite… This is a rich and compelling
mystery that will hook new readers, while its subplot will keep established fans
glued to the page.'
Australian Bookseller & Publisher

‘Haunting, unnerving.'
Publishers Weekly
, US

‘There's a palpable undercurrent of menace in this immensely satisfying read. In
a word, absorbing.'
Herald Sun

‘Satisfyingly rich fare…capped by a string of climactic fireworks that are still
exploding in the very last paragraph.'
Kirkus Reviews

‘
Chelsea Mansions
is among the best entries in a top-notch series.'
Richmond Times-Dispatch
, US

‘Maitland shows his stuff as a writer, belting to a truly gripping conclusion… this
is classy stuff and a pleasure to read.'
Age

‘A terrific thriller… Beautifully, leanly written: the characters and places drawn
with skill.'
Weekend Herald
, NZ

ALSO BY BARRY MAITLAND

The Brock and Kolla series:

The Marx Sisters

The Malcontenta

All My Enemies

The Chalon Heads

Silvermeadow

Babel

The Verge Practice

No Trace

Spider Trap

Dark Mirror

Chelsea Mansions

The Raven's Eye

Bright Air

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland, studied architecture at Cambridge University
and went on to work as an architect and urban design expert. In 1984 he moved to
Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South
Wales. In 1994
The Marx Sisters
, the first in his London-based Brock and Kolla crime
series, was published. Barry is now published throughout the English-speaking world
and in translation in a number of other countries, including Germany, Italy, France
and Japan. He lives in the Hunter Valley.

Crucifixion Creek
is the first instalment of the Belltree Trilogy, the first of Barry's
series to be set in Australia.

textpublishing.com.au

The Text Publishing Company
Swann House
22 William Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Australia

Copyright © 2014 by Barry Maitland

The moral right of Barry Maitland to be identified as the author of this work has
been asserted.

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright above, no part of
this publication shall be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise), without the prior permission of both the copyright owner
and the publisher of this book.

First published in 2014 by The Text Publishing Company

Cover design by W. H. Chong
Page design by Imogen Stubbs
Typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro 12/16.5 by J & M Typesetting

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry
Author:
Maitland, Barry.
Title:
Crucifixion Creek : the belltree trilogy / by Barry Maitland.
ISBN:
9781922182456 (paperback)
ISBN:
9781925095401 (ebook)
Subjects:
Detective and mystery stories, Australian.
Dewey Number: A823.3

This project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia
Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

For Margaret

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

AFTERWORD

1

In south-western Sydney, on a chilly winter's night, a siege is in progress. The
street is very ordinary—suburban, brick veneer and tiled roofs—and the only thing
a stranger might notice is the number of houses that have steel roller-shutters on
their windows. They're all closed now.

Two neighbours have reported a man's shouts, a woman's screams and a burst of gunfire.
Now everyone is here—ambulance and fire brigade, local area command uniforms and
detectives, scene of crime, and Harry Belltree and Deb Velasco from homicide. And
the Tactical Operations Unit, the black ninjas, who have parked their big black American
armoured Lenco truck, bristling with menace, in the driveway of the house. This has
surely given the occupants something to think about.

Nothing is known about the man apart from a neighbour's hazy description of the female
resident's new boyfriend: bulky, pony-tailed, bearded, tattooed. The TOU negotiators
got a single grunt from him before he disabled the house phone, and now they are
using the loudhailer, trying to ‘engage' him. The house backs on
to rough ground
in the area known locally as Crucifixion Creek, and there are marksmen out there
and in the gardens on either side.

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