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3.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,164 ratings  ·  290 reviews
There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55?

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town's small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  1,164 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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Another Aussie crime writer establishes himself as the latest to pen an intense and intriguing novel with a fabulous premise. Set in Western Australia, Wilbrook is a small empty shell of a town, with the remnants of a history that included gold mining, blue asbestos and iron ore. Sergeant Chandler Jenkins leads his small police team where domestics are the usual fare. Everything is about to change when a terrified injured man, Gabriel, enters the police station with a scary tale of being held by ...more
Kylie D
Wow, this is one book that will get a grip on you and wont let go! Two suspects, each with the same story, blaming the other. A possible 54 bodies somewhere. Small town cop Chandler has no choice but to call in the bigwigs, including his estranged former best friend Mitch.

Mitch and his crew come in and take over, but Mitch is an arrogant moron, I have no idea how he got to such a high ranking, and the whole thing goes belly up. With a police force divided, and a serial killer on the loose, this
Whoa! This was one high tension read. I don't think my heartbeat returned to normal the whole way through. And that ending - Mr Delargy - How Could You?!!

This is a very clever debut novel with two young men, beaten and bloodied, first one and then the other walking in to a police station claiming to be backpackers with an alarming story of abduction by a man who told them they were going to be killed as his victim number 55. Both tell identical stories of being locked and shackled in a small hut
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
This book started so well with two men in police custody, each one claiming to be the victim of the other. Who to believe and how to discover the truth?

What a great premise which led to an interesting and intriguing story. The Australian setting was well done but I thought the characters needed more work. Most of them had a name but no background and the two main players who did have a lot of background, Chandler and Mitch, became rather tedious with their overdramatised feud.

Still a good,
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Chandler could almost see Gabriel's heart pound under his tee-shirt. The memories were flooding back, intense and uncontrolled. After a long breath that seemed to suck the last of the oxygen from the stifling room, he continued.

'I aimed for the ridge. I glanced back and he was about ten metres behind me. I kept running and running until I stumbled on some loose soil and fell into a small clearing. The ground was all, dug up.' Gabriel stared at him. 'They were graves.'

May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up to 4!

In the small, isolated Outback town of Gardner's Hill, Western Australia, a distraught man named Gabriel stumbles into the police station. He claims to have been held prisoner by a serial killer called Heath, who intended him to be victim no 55. Later that day, another man turns up with the exact same story, stating his name as Heath, but is adamant Gabriel is the killer, not him. Which man is lying? It's up to Senior Sergeant Chandler Jenkins to figure out which of the two
Sergeant Chandler Jenkins was in charge of the small police station in Wilbrook, Western Australia. One morning, a bedraggled and bloodied individual who said his name was Gabriel, entered the station, telling of the horror of being abducted, beaten and threatened with murder; that he would be victim number 55. He said the person who did this, way out in the bush, called himself Heath. But it wasn’t much later that another individual, in the same shattered state, entered the station, gave his ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A small police station in a quiet remote town in Australia is sent into chaos when a man arrives stating that he has been held prisoner by a serial killer and he was to be victim number 55.
Later that day another man arrives with the same story and these two men are blaming each other. Unfortunately the first man can no longer be found.
A slow burning story with some good characters.
Thank you to NetGalley Simon and Schuster UK Fiction for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Liz Barnsley
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One sitting, totally absorbing and utterly addictive read with a KILLER ending- that is “55”, the novel coming next year from James DeLargey, definitely a writer to watch although I’m not sure I’d like to live in his head.
One victim. One killer. But which is which? This is the conundrum facing our beleagured main protagonist Chandler, manning a small police station in the back end of nowhere, suddenly thrust into a case beyond imagination. Invaded by an old nemesis whose belief in his own
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the opening pages of his first novel, 55, Irish-born author, James Delargy creates instant intrigue when two men, clearly in fear of their lives, enter a remote Western Australian town in short succession claiming to have barely escaped a serial killer. The details of their ordeals are virtually identical, except that each names the other as the killer, and themselves as number 55.

With his staff of four, Wilbrook’s Sergeant Chandler Jenkins is ill-equipped to mount a search when one of the
Mandy White
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe that you ended it there James Delargy!! What the!!!! I was not expecting that at all. This book, a debut from this author was fantastic. This year I am reading more and new Australian writers and I am so glad that I picked this one up.. if you are. a fan of thrillers and police procedurals then you need to get your hand story on it too. The story was clever and different and so well written. Set in outback Western Australia the writer makes you feel like you are there. I heard ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Thanks to The Dry by Jane Harper and one of my personal favourite crime fiction books of last year, Scrublands by Chris Hammer, Australian rural based crime fiction is really getting the star treatment. Emerging author James Delargy brings us 55, a crime based serial killer novel set in the heart of the outback. It is a book where the lines of truth, lies and reality are completely blurred and it certainly made for a gripping read.

Billed as an outback
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 for this thrilling debut novel by Irish-born author James Delargy.

A terrified young man named Gabriel arrives at the police station in a small, remote Pilbara town, with a tale of escaping a serial-killer, Heath, who had told him he was going to be number 55. Barely had the police managed to plan their approach to locating Heath, when the man himself is brought into the station, blustering at gun-point, explaining his attempt to take the gun-wielder's vehicle was to escape from Gabriel, a
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first spotted this book on Twitter, I just knew it was one I had to read. The fascinating and intriguing premise caught my eye instantly. Who is fifty-five indeed?! My expectations were high but as soon as I started reading the first page, I was already convinced James Delargy was going to live up to them. And then some.

Welcome to the sleepy town of Wilbrook, Western Australia. A town so remote, it’s almost falling off the map. A town surrounded by stunning landscapes and beautiful Mother
Deborah Ideiosepius
This fascinating new book grabbed me from the first time I read the description, but a bit of back history: I used to be thoroughly addicted to crime fiction, especially all things serial killer related, then I kind of moved on from this addiction. I suspect that they all became a bit similar, and the only way many authors could find to up the ante was to up the violence and that never really made it more interesting.

In 55, the second I read the description on the publishers pages there was an
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.

Great idea, but sadly I don't think the actual story lived up to it. And the ending was especially terrible.

Started well, but went down hill, boring, didn't like ending. Hugely disappointed coz the idea was just great! After being given such a build up by the publisher, I was really looking forward to it, so I guess that's why it was so sad to dislike the last half.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Having raced through the compelling story told by James Delargy in 55, I almost threw it against the wall when I read the last sentence (after double checking there were no pages missing).

“‘He wanted me to be number fifty-five,’ the man spluttered, looking Chandler squarely in the eye for the first time. He shivered and squeezed his eyes shut.”

On an ordinary morning in the remote Western Australian town of Wilbrook, a bruised and bloodied man stumbles into the police station with a horrifying
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - What’s really interesting about this book is, thanks to the blurb, you have an idea of how the beginning is going to play out. You know two men are going to walk in to Chandler’s station and report the same crime, and you’d think this runs the risk of taking away the suspense because there’s no element of surprise to the opening. In this instance, knowing what was to come heightened the suspense, because, as the reader, you’re alert from the first page, ready to hear both stories, ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
55 by James Delargy is a crime thriller with an interesting premise - two men both reporting to be a victim of the other while claiming the other man is a self-professed serial killer.

The novel opens with one man dragging his battered and weakened body into the police station, in a town of five thousand and supervised by Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, while claiming he has just escaped from the hands of a killer that told him he would be number fifty-five.

Not long after that, a second man,
Kirsty ❤️
Two men, with identical stories both claiming the other one is a serial killer wishing to make then the 55th victim. Who is telling the truth?

I really enjoyed the premise of this, trying to work out just which one is telling the truth. I wasn't overly keen on the two feuding lead characters. I would have liked more on the two potential killers; that's the bit that drew me into the book in the first place. I was left wanting a lot more from this story.
Sean Kennedy
Nothing takes you out of a book like someone describing the Australian outback as having ‘woods’.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
55 is a compelling mystery set in the harsh, remote outback of Western Australia. The searing heat and isolation of the small town of Wilbrook, which has been in decline since its mining industry collapsed, is vividly described. Its tiny police station has a claustrophobic feel, but there is little for the staff to do except settling domestic disputes and bar fights. The author, James Delargy, is not Australian, but lived and worked there, as I had, and the setting and characters were ...more
Trigger warnings: torture, death, kidnapping, child abuse (in the past), sexual relationship between a teenage girl and a grown ass man (in the past), (view spoiler)

3.5 stars.

The blurb instantly sold me on this one. Unfortunately, the book didn't QUITE live up to the heights that the blurb promised... I wanted to love this, I really did. And yet. Let's bullet point some stuff.
- It felt pretty repetitive at times because it cut back and forth between
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
55 is James Delargy's incredibly accomplished debut thriller set in the Western Australian outback, and I had no qualms or issues with polishing it off in a single sitting as it was just so damn original and exciting. It's wholly absorbing and so completely addictive that once you pick it up you simply have to find out what happens, and the ending left me reeling, which rarely happens. It's taut, tense, pacey and very cleverly plotted with fascinating characters who are developed beautifully. ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two men arrive, separately, at the police station in Wilbrook a small town in a very remote part of Western Australia. First to arrive is Gabriel who is injured and covered in dried blood. He tells the police chief, Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, that he was picked up while hitchhiking before being drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains where he was tied up in chains. The man who took him was called Heath who said Gabriel was to be number 55 - his 55th victim. He managed to escape and made ...more
Outback Australian crime novels are most definitely the new black at the moment, and the premise for James Delargy’s 55 is a little different to most.

Two guys, same story, one is the perp and one is the victim. Only with practically identical stories, it’s impossible to tell who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.

One wicked set up right?! But, the thing is, the further into this book I got, the more I thought that I’ve come across this story before. Don’t get me wrong, some of it was very
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars

This book just wasn't for me. Unfortunately a few things annoyed me fairly immediately - the formatting issues I experienced (words running together all the way through) and later on a couple of occasions, editing oversights, where the wrong word was used - which didn't make for a good reading experience overall. Without this frustration I may have had a different experience of this book and felt more kindly toward it.

In terms of the actual writing / story I thought the premise was
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a real slew of solid Australian crime writing at the moment from the likes of Jane Harper, Emma Viskic, Chris Hammer et al, and although not of Australian stock himself, James Delargy has produced a clever, disquieting, and altogether compelling thriller set in the remote western Australian outback, that holds more than one or two surprises of its own…

I think I can confidently guarantee that the very premise of this book, and the lengths that Delargy goes to in order to trick and
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, arc-s
I’m always wary of books claiming to have twists because usually I can see the “twists” from a mile off, but with this one I kept second guessing myself. It’s a really unique take on the thriller crime genre, not only in its location in the harsh Australian outback, but in that we have two men claiming to be the victim of a heinous kidnapping and attempted murder. Which one is it? Gabriel, Heath, both of them, none of them?

55 is a slow burn with a solid pace. It flips between present day and
Book Bandit
There's lots of great stuff here: super original premise, tension, pace. But that's about it. Aussie noir is having a moment but it also means that books have to be really good to stand out in this category and the comparison to The Dry is unwarranted.

Let's start with the ending. Without spoilers I'll just say 1 - it made no sense and 2 - it's insane and offensive to think readers would actually buy it. I'm calling it out, it's bad.

This is one of those books that seems to be written with a
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James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland but lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi-rural England where he now lives.

He incorporates this diverse knowledge of towns, cities, landscape and culture picked up on his travels into his writing. He would like to complete a round-the-world series of novels (if only for the chance to indulge in more on-the-ground
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