Wednesday 21 September 2016



A disgraced cop. A case gone wrong. A danger she never saw coming.

Laura Romano is a dishonored cop and an addict. After being sold out by her biker boyfriend, she’s reassigned to Tunnel Island, a tropical paradise with a dark, seedy underbelly. When the son of an influential politician turns up dead, Romano teams up with a hard-nosed sheriff to investigate.

As the clues point to a pair of junkies from the island’s south side, Romano knows there are too many loose ends to let the case go. What she doesn’t realize is that someone on the island knows the truth about the case. Someone who will stop at nothing to keep the truth a secret…

Drainland is the first book in a new series of crime mysteries. If you like hardboiled female protagonists, gritty crime mysteries, and a dash of tropical paradise, then you’ll love Iain Ryan’s fast-paced page-turner.

Another engrossing and compelling novel from Australia.

Cop Laura Romano has been exiled to Tunnel Island. The island, with its casinos and high-class hotels, caters to the high-rollers with deep pockets and dubious appetites – discretion guaranteed. In conjunction with a complicit police hierarchy the money men control things.

Romano has yet to understand and accept how the island works, meeting puzzling resistance to her efforts to  dig a bit deeper into a couple of suspicious deaths, written off and closed as a murder-suicide.

Battling her addictions and her apathetic colleagues, she butts heads with enforcer Jim Harris. (Harris was someone we encountered in Ryan’s previous book Four Days.) Rewind the clock, Romano is Harris twenty years ago.

Reluctantly Harris allows Romano to continue her inquiries, knowing if necessary he can pull the plug on her. Tracking down a couple of suspects to the islands Drainland – a ghetto camp-cum-tent village of bikers, whores, addicts and homeless, the pair find their quarry in hanging valley. Case closed?

No - too convenient. Romano pushes further. Further enquiries to the mainland, get red-flagged. Harris gets pressured. There’s plenty of secrets that need protecting.

Some way down the line, Harris comes on board and helps her clean house, in a none too subtle fashion.  

Interesting main character in Romano, a troubled alcoholic and a loner, but not someone who is totally likeable. You’ve got to admire her tenacity and resolve though. I’ll be interested in reading more books featuring her in the future from the author.

Dark, disturbing, harsh, brutal to the nth degree.

4.5 stars from 5

I’ve enjoyed Iain Ryan’s two previous offerings – Two Days and Four Days.

He has his website here. Catch him on Twitter - @iainkryan

Drainland was supplied by the author for an honest review.


  1. This one sounds as though it packs quite a punch, Col. I like the setting quite a lot, too. I'll admit, this is a bit dark for my usual fare, but it does sound interesting.

    1. Margot - possibly a little bit too dark for some. Very good though!

  2. Col, I don't remember the last time I read a crime fiction featuring a hardboiled female protagonist, and this book sounds too good to overlook.

    1. I really liked it - it is very very dark though!

  3. I like the premise, but not sure about the disturbing and brutal part. I will keep this author in mind.

    1. One scene in particular stunned me. He's an author to keep an eye out for, but maybe not this book.

  4. Replies
    1. Fun might be the opposite of what was intended - dark and brutal - but enjoyable in a perverted reading sense.

  5. Tempted by the female protagonist, but overall probably too dark.

    1. Again yeah - one of the scenes was dark before getting even darker, then someone turned the lights maybe his next one.