Crime writer Dinuka McKenzie is back with her beloved protagonist Detective Kate Miles in the third in a series (following THE TORRENT and TAKEN) with her new novel TIPPING POINT (Harper Collins 2024), a police procedural that combines detailed policing investigations with Kate’s family life.

Overall, the three books cover Kate’s relationships with her father (a former cop), her work colleagues and her husband and children. Tipping Point includes her estranged brother Luke who has returned home to Esserton for the funeral of his childhood friend, Ant, dead inexplicably of suicide. Luke, Ant and Marcus (the son of a minor celebrity actor) were best mates while growing up, and although they had grown apart in recent years, Marcus and Luke reconnect over their grief about Ant. But Luke has only been in town a few days when Marcus is found dead on his property, and it is at first unclear whether this is by suicide, misadventure/accident or murder.

Of course, Luke is seen as a person of interest, a crime yet again marking Kate’s life as she becomes entangled in the past of 20 years earlier, and the recent present, with her brother a largely unknown and aloof figure with not a few secrets of his own that explain why he has decided to remain in town rather than return to his hot shot city job. The predictable media storm, with accusations of conflicts of interest, sideline Kate from the case.

There are a lot of characters to keep track of throughout this novel as the narrative becomes increasingly twisted. McKenzie’s fans will love this next episode of Kate Miles’ life, both as cop, as wife, as mother, as daughter and as friend. The author has a knack of combining complex police procedure with personal stories with heart.

As to be expected with any good crime thriller, the ending is unexpected and shocking. I understand that this might be the last in this series (for now, at least) and I look forward to reading McKenzie’s next crime novel, whether it be a standalone or the beginning of another series.