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Promise (Darian Richards #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  132 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Top Homicide cop Darian Richards has been seeking out monsters for too long. He has promised one too many victim's families he will find the answers they need and it's taken its toll. Now retired, a series of disappearances see him return to the gun. On his terms. But he knows, every promise has a price to pay.

After surviving a gunshot wound to the head, Darian calls it qu
Paperback, 327 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Hachette Australia (first published January 1st 2012)
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48 Shades of Brown by Nick EarlsThe Beach House by Helen McKennaWings of Fear by Helene YoungThornwood House by Anna RomerA Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Queensland Fiction
26th out of 50 books — 43 voters
Misadventurous by S.A. TawksThe passage by Vance PalmerPromise by Tony CavanaughWhite Spirit by Lance Morcan
Sunshine Coast, Australia
1st out of 4 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 16, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it

This was an excellent debut novel from screenplay writer Tony Cavanaugh. As his protagonist he has chosen Darian Richards, retired after 16y as a top homicide detective in Victoria. He now resides in Noosa where he relishes the pace of life although he is not as anonymous as he hoped. Everyone seems to know about his past. When several young girls start disappearing around Noosa, and the local police can find no leads on where they have gone, Darian can no longer pretend to himself that it’s not
Mar 13, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book started off well but was a big disappointment for me did not finish
This is a difficult book to rate and review. I liked the story line, and I was interested to read some crime noir - something a bit darker than my more usual cozy Phryne Fisher murder mysteries - and this certainly was darker…! But whereas I was happy for the plot line to be more complex, with a psychopath with disturbing issues, I could have done without the graphic descriptions of rape and murder - although this is obviously treading a fine line between getting us, the readers, into the mind o ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
Darian Richard has had enough. After sixteen long years as the head of Victoria's homicide squad he has now retired to what he hopes will be the quiet life in Noosa. But unfortuently he soon realises even the seemingly tranquil surroundings of his retired paradise is not a safe place. A serial killer is loose on the Sunshine Coast with the victims all young and Blonde. The police put on a brave face saying they may be alive but Darian as an ex cop knows all that means is they havn't found a body ...more
Bree T
Jan 09, 2013 Bree T rated it really liked it
Darian Richards was one of the most successful Homicide detectives in Australia. After over 15 years as the head of Victoria’s Homicide Squad and being shot several times, he’d had enough. Even though there was still one major case he hadn’t solved, a serial killer riding the trains in Melbourne and snatching victims, he walked away. He was done promising people that he’d find out who murdered their loved ones.

He retired to Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast where he keeps to himself as much a
Darian Richards, top Homicide Squad boss from Victoria, with sixteen years under his belt, was burnt out. He was extremely successful in his job, always caught the criminals, until his last case. After getting shot in the head in an unrelated incident, enough was enough. After he recuperated, he threw in his job, packed up his possessions and headed as far north of Australia as he could. Noosa was his place to retire, and he planned on doing nothing!

Until suddenly a serial killer is around, stal
May 05, 2016 Bec rated it really liked it
The fifth book in this series, Kingdom of the Strong, was published last year and made it into my Top 15 of 2015. I decided to go back and start this series from the start, in the hopes of a new release this year. One of the things that sets the Darian Richards series apart is the setting – the Sunshine Coast in Australia. As an Australian, my family holidayed in Queensland, and often on the Sunshine Coast so the descriptions of the setting are particularly vibrant to me.

Promise is a tightly wri
Jun 02, 2013 Sunnie rated it liked it
Dark and disturbing.
PROMISE is the debut novel of television script writer Tony Cavanaugh.

Darian Richards is a retired homicide detective. Former head of homicide, in fact. He walked away from the job after one too many murders and too many haunted dreams. He has taken the law into his own hands more times than he cares to admit. Living in the beachside town of Noosa, Darian believes those days are behind him. But then young teenage girls start to disappear without trace......

Ill be honest, mav
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
Darian Richards has retired from life as a high profile homicide detective in Melbourne and retreated to Noosa to try to escape the ghosts that accompany that kind of career. But one of Noosa’s inhabitants is abducting, abusing and murdering young girls, and regardless of protocol, Richards can’t help but get involved.

I read this book in about two days and lived it the whole time, which is appropriate because the plot itself is set over only a handful of days. With about twenty pages to go I had
Charmaine Clancy
Jan 19, 2013 Charmaine Clancy rated it it was ok
Not for me. The crimes are too graphic for my enjoyment. I don't mind this in some novels but here the victims are little girls. It was too disturbing for me. I was left with a feeling of hopelessness as the top homicide detective (or so he keeps telling me) keeps missing this guy and another little girl is horrifically abused, raped, tortured and murdered. I did like the premise of a serial killer hitting a sleepy town and the local cops not being able to cope. And I enjoyed the setting descrip ...more
Oct 16, 2014 Veronical rated it it was ok
Aug 28, 2015 Juliej rated it really liked it
As the mother of teenage daughters living on the Sunshine Coast, this book was a little too gruesome and close to home for me. But I give it 4 stars because it was such a good read, the local descriptions were right and I liked the main character the detective Darian Richards.

I tend to enjoy "inside the mind of the villain" type books, with a little bit of psychology thrown in, and I thought that the author did this very well. Ok not everything was totally believable, but that's the genre, I tho
Lee Battersby
Jun 28, 2014 Lee Battersby rated it really liked it
Slowly evolves into a gripping read as details and points of view begin to spiral inwards towards the final confrontation. Cavanaugh has a gift for setting and detail that can be unsettling but is never less than enthralling. His characters have a tendency to drift towards the stereotypical, including the protagonist Darian Richards, who falls firmly into the supercop-with-a-haunted-past trope, and there are occasional actions that defy the law of narrative belief, but this is an excellently det ...more
Carolyn Mck
Aug 03, 2015 Carolyn Mck rated it really liked it
This is a grim thriller about a serial killer - not my usual cup of tea. But I was absolutely gripped by this novel by the Australian writer Tony Cavanaugh. I could relate to the setting (in Noosa on the Sunshine coast) and to the characters who were presented in some depth. The chapters in the voice of the serial killer himself were chilling. Darian Richards, who as a retired homicide detective, found himself unable to give up his promises to the dead of unsolved crime, should make for an inter ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
I think it would be fair to say that PROMISE by Tony Cavanaugh has been talked up in these parts. Having read the book now, you can see many of the reasons for the general feeling of enthusiasm, although to be fair, the central storyline of this book is going to be problematic for some readers.

In Darian Richards, Cavanaugh has created a very interesting central character. Retired head of Victoria's Homicide Squad, shooting victim, not everything is immediately as it seems with Richards. A hard w
Apr 27, 2012 ALPHAreader rated it really liked it
Darian Richards threw his service weapon into the ocean and walked away from his job as Australia’s more successful homicide detective. He has left Melbourne behind after failing to catch ‘the train killer’, and has settled in for retirement on Queensland’s Noosa River.

Darian spends the first few months enjoying his retirement and a certain notoriety in his new, small town. He has a similarly retired friend in Casey Lack, a fifty-something ex-brothel owner who also migrated from Melbourne, after
Michele Harrod
May 02, 2013 Michele Harrod rated it really liked it
For a first novel, this was pretty outstanding. I felt that I really got into the heart of the characters with this one, and that I was working side by side with the main protagonist. And best of all, he surprised me many times. I have tried not to stay and delve too closely into the heart of this most disturbing psychopath this ex-police officer is hell bent on catching. One really does get taken deep into the core of the monster with this book. Which will certainly make an outstanding movie. L ...more
Adam Leask
Jul 21, 2013 Adam Leask rated it it was amazing
Considering that this is Tony’s first novel, this was a stunning piece of craftsmanship. Recently, I’ve started to become bored with crime fiction in general – it’s all to do with the fact that I read so much of it, and it’s now starting to take something spectacular for me to say that it was a worthwhile read. Tony managed to achieve this.
I’m sure that many people will read the book and be slightly disgusted with the subject matter and description in which Tony describes it. For me, this made
Simone Sinna
May 29, 2012 Simone Sinna rated it really liked it
Okay I picked this up because it was a new Australian author doing crime. I’m Australian, only published in the USA, and in a different genre. This book is closer to the genre my book in progress is, so I guess I was checking out the competition. It’s different enough that it’s not too intimidating.
Firstly it’s set in Melbourne (briefly) and Noosa. I know both places very well. He makes Noosa surrounds seem a bit like Florida which will probably work with the American audience. It should. It’s e
Aug 22, 2015 Malcolm rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
If I hadn't read his Kingdom of the Strong first, I wouldn't have persevered with Promise.
Think the gratuitous detailed violence is a cover for scarcity of clever plot creation.
When he gets out in the open and write he can create interesting plots with unanticipated twists, which for me is something I enjoy.
Can see the teleplay darting around, disconcertingly before itself at times.
The author certainly has a writing gift & with him being Australian, I want him to be a great author.
Jessica Lerch
Sep 04, 2015 Jessica Lerch rated it really liked it
Bit disturbing & very dark in a lot of parts but kept me wondering what's going to happen next the entire way through the book.

I found it interesting how the author has sections from both the killer, the victims & the main character ex cop Richards perspective. Made the story much more captivating.

I did enjoy that the book was set in QLD So I could relate to some of the descriptions of the areas of the Sunshine Coast which made the book all the more real to me.
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
3 1/2 stars
A truly macabre murder mystery that gives the reader a terrifying glimpse into the evil that men can do to each other; the voice of the villain was malignant, terrifying and freaky and I am glad this was a work of fiction! The hero, Darian Richards was a personable yet manipulative character, worn down by his career in Victoria’s Homicide Squad, seeking a quiet life without the nightmares that accompanied his past work and not averse to taking the law into his own hands. Mix the first
Jul 10, 2014 Ronni rated it liked it
I think this story would have been truly horrifying but for one thing - stay out of the head of the killer. The killer ceases to be frightening if you get to hear his inner thoughts of how he came to do the things he did, by how screwed up his life has been to date. But for this one thing, this book would have been brilliant for me.
Ann Tonks
Not sure that it was the right book to finish on Christmas Day because the perpetrator and his actions are particularly nasty but I enjoyed the collection of other characters include the lead, retired Homicide Chief Darian Richards and the descriptions of the Noosa environment.
Dec 28, 2015 Rhonda rated it liked it
Love the character of Darian and the Queensland locations but too much graphic detail on the crime and why do young women always have to be sexually abused by men? Disturbing, but that's life.
The book is compared to Michael Connelly's Bosch and going on the TV series (I have not read any of the books) I agree, it has the same feel. Some of the descriptions by the serial killer of what he does to his victims was quite stomach turning.
Celeste Fairweather
Aug 19, 2012 Celeste Fairweather rated it it was ok
I couldnt engage with the main character. I found the serial killer too horrifying and found myself too engaged with the victims. It was easier to engage with the serial killer than the main character. So i felt quite sick throughout it.
Disappointed by the ending.
Had the feeling I was reading a 'made for tv' book.
And at one point both the main character & the serial killer used 'catastrophising' in their thoughts which was a little too coincidental.

That being said i thought the plot was goo
Jan 13, 2015 Renee rated it it was amazing
Aussie Jack Reacher without the cheese. Devoured it, loved it, want to read more from this author.
Lyn Battersby
Oct 19, 2013 Lyn Battersby rated it really liked it
As a huge fan of Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, I love novels that take the reader inside the mind of the murderer. As a setting for this novel, however, the killer's mind is not a comfortable place to visit and there were moments when I wondered if I'd outstayed my welcome.

I persevered, however, and was well rewarded. Tony Cavanaugh's writing is tight and his style easy to fall into. The prose flowed over and around me as I came to know the characters and the situation he'd created for them.

All in
Jeannie May
Jul 05, 2014 Jeannie May rated it did not like it
Too dark and nasty. Didn't like the graphic and evil concepts. Disturbing.
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