Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Build Up” as Want to Read:
The Build Up
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Build Up

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  18 reviews
For Detective Dusty Buchanon, a female cop in the very male world of the Northern Territory Police Force, it always pays to expect the unexpected.

During the stifling pre-monsoon season known as The Build Up, a body is found in a billabong near a Vietnam veterans' camp site. To Dusty it's the chance she's been looking for: a spectacular case to revive her flagging career.
Paperback, 339 pages
Published 2008 by Pan Macmillan Australia
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Build Up, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Build Up

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Build Up
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Build up is about how Detective Dusty Buchanon revives her career. For Detective Dusty Buchanon was a detective in the Northern Territory Police station in Darwin. One morning Dusty was later to work, and her colleagues were unable to ranch her to let her know about the arrival of the new boss Commander Christine Schneider. Right from the start Christine and Dusty did not get along. Then a great opportunity for Dusty to improve her standing in the Northern Territory Police. The readers of Th ...more
Alex Cantone
Dusty walked across the tarmac, spongy in the heat. Even after all these years in the Top End she wasn’t quite used to the savagery of the weather at this time of the year. The air wasn’t just air anymore; supercharged with heat and humidity, it had body, corporeality. You didn’t walk through it, you walked against it. Slowly.

The Build Up opens with Vietnam veteran, Jimmy, struggling with PTSD, fishing for barramundi at a billabong though he’s been told to stay away. When his fishing lure snags
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nailing my colours firmly to the aerial of the ute, I love a book that evokes a place and a people strongly. THE BUILD UP is set in and around Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. A bit of a frontier town - they have a habit of referring to other states as "the shoe wearing states". Darwin's always been just that bit different from the rest of Australia - it's tropical, it's closer to Asia than to most other Australian capital cities, and it used to be a town where cultures intermingled com ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, almost gave it a 5 star but about 4/5th of the way through I suddenly got a bit confused with the storyline. Eventually it sorted itself out but I don't know if it was just me, or the writing? Probably me, lol. But anyway, this is a damn good read, a mixture of a serious crime and cop drama, but with quite a lot of humour, and a great description of the pre-monsoon season in the Northern Territory. It's very Australian and full of characters you will love and people you will jus ...more
Andrew Tupper
Nice to see some crime fiction set in the Territory, and it’s a decent tale of Top End detecting. Our heroine, unconventional, good-looking and slightly sex-starved detective Dusty Buchanon, makes for a decent protagonist as she unravels a series of related crimes by scraping through the dusty,sweaty underbelly of Darwin and surrounding suburbs. There’s a nice Mitchell-St-style-romance thread left hanging at the end (in reality, that relationship was always going nowhere), some bad bosses, Darwi ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable murder mystery
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Phillip Gwynne has previously earned acclaim for his YA/childrens books such as Deadly, Unna? and his most recent Swerve. The Build Up is his debut adult crime fiction novel.
In Darwin, Australia's Top End, the discover of a body in a billabong might finally allow Detective 'Dusty' Buchanan to close her biggest case and put their main suspect behind bars. As the weather builds, another body is found, and then lost, Dusty is feeling the pressure from all sides. Which will break first?
Gwynne has c
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Set in Darwin, The Build Up is a crime novel with a distinctly Aussie feel. Penned by successful Australian author Phillip Gwynne, The Build Up has been so successful that it's being made into a 13 part TV series scheduled to air on SBS later in 2011.

Detective Dusty Buchanon is a tough no-nonsense woman helping to police the Top End when a body is discovered following a wild party at a Vietnam Veteran's camp site. Dusty has just been pulled off a high profile case she's been working on for 2 yea
Rob Kitchin
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
The Build Up seeks create a police procedural underlain with dark humour, mostly mobilised through some comic set pieces and the ragbag collection of friends (including a gay art dealer, an aboriginal rock star, a German twitcher, and a pet pig). For the most part it kind of works. I enjoyed the book, but was not blown away by it. The writing is fairly perfunctory, the characters a little stereotypical, and plot a little haphazard. What should have been twists and turns in the story came as litt ...more
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This book was entertaining, but a pretty trashy read. The writing was not very good, which I found annoying. I hated the underuse of commas, the poorly constructed sentences, and the gratuitous switches in POV. The author also seemed unsure as to which audience he was writing for -- is this an Aussie book for an outsider, or an Aussie book for an Aussie? If the former, there were a lot of uncommon phrases that should have been explained. If the latter, there was a lot of exposition about commonl ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I wish this had half settings, so I could give this book 3.5 stars! An Aussie murder mystery set in northern Australia, away from the 'shoe-wearing States', as the protagonist, Detective Dusty Buchanan refers to them. The mystery was solid and the pacing good. There were a number of additional subplots, romance, not romance, the difficulties of career progression when you're a woman in the police force were all good and added great context. But the biggest context of all is Darwin itself where t ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This crime fiction novel is highly recommended for readers that have either traveled to Darwin, Australia, live there, or would like to get an idea of what the town is like. The value of this easy-to-read book lies not so much in its plot (which would probably only deserve 2-3 stars on its own), but in the amazingly insightful, accurate and often hilarious - representation of life in the Top End.

I rather randomly picked this up at the small Darwin airport bookstall, gave it to friends when I fi
Deb Bodinnar
Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Dusty (the main character) is quite a gutsy female cop who goes at her work head on. The variety of other characters in the story were great, from Julien, her gay friend (and some time lover) to Marion, the Aboriginal lady Dusty helped out from time to time. Although the storyline is serious, I mean what murders aren't, there were times when the novel was LOL (laugh out loud) and this made it much more enjoyable to read. I can see a continuation of Dusty and her life in Darwin in a follow on nov ...more
Ann Tonks
The first murder mystery that I've read set in Australia's Northern Territory and I enjoyed the sociology and geography as much as the police work.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
A pretty good story, with some great characters. For some strange reason, I think this would be a great read while on a long train/plane trip.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
A great Aussie crime/mystery.
I found it swapped and changed past/present a bit too much - a bit confusing.
Saturday's Child
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
A very easy to read crime fiction.
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2012
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2014
Chris F
rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2012
rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2015
Shane Dougall
rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2017
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2017
Richard Heggie
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2015
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2010
Shane Symonds
rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2017
Jess Duncan
rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Caleb's Crossing
  • The Truth According to Us
  • Everybody Rise
  • Schweinskopf al dente (Franz Eberhofer, #3)
  • Grießnockerlaffäre (Franz Eberhofer, #4)
  • Dampfnudelblues (Franz Eberhofer, #2)
  • Winterkartoffelknödel (Franz Eberhofer, #1)
  • Sauerkrautkoma (Franz Eberhofer, #5)
  • Leberkäsjunkie (Franz Eberhofer, #7)
  • Zwetschgendatschikomplott (Franz Eberhofer, #6)
  • The Hard Sell
  • The Barefoot Investor: 2018/2019 Edition: The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need
  • Design Your Life ®
  • D&AD: The Copy Book
  • The Million Dollar Blog
  • A Designer's Research Manual, 2nd edition, Updated and Expanded: Succeed in design by knowing your clients and understanding what they really need
  • The Girls
  • The Mountain Story
See similar books…
Phillip Gwynne's first novel Deadly Unna? the literary hit of 1998, has now sold over 180,000 copies. It was made into the feature film Australian Rules for which Phillip won an AFI award. The sequel, Nukkin Ya, was published to great acclaim in 2000. He has also written The Worst Team Ever, Born to Bake, and A Chook Called Harry in the Aussie Bites series, and Jetty Rats. Phillip's latest novel, ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
39 likes · 64 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »