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Publishers Weekly (Starred Review): "Lovitt's powerful hard-boiled debut..."

Date: May 6 2013

Melbourne PI John Dorn declares, in the prologue of Australian author Lovitt’s powerful hard-boiled debut, “You don’t make promises to do what I do.” He goes on to do just that over the course of 10 chapters, each involving a separate case. The cases get progressively more disturbing, both in terms of their subject matter, which include gruesome torture, and their impact on Dorn, a classic world-weary narrator (“I was parked in a narrow, forgotten kind of alley that’s really an abyss between tall buildings, where it’s still raining 20 minutes after it’s stopped everywhere else”). The title refers to a kind of promise, according to Dorn’s mother, “made to get what you wanted, not one you actually ever kept.” For Dorn, the promise is that his crime stories not be about him, and it takes until the very end for the reader to assess what he wanted in making it.