... the shops are bedlam; 'car park rage' abounds; there's an eerie glow in the night sky caused by excessive Christmas lighting; the beaches are crowded; Santa goes surfing ... and there's a new Barry Maitland story serialised in the local paper.
This year the story, Blood River, is set on the Danube River and will unfold over 14 episodes.
In an interview last week, Barry said there was "a knack to writing in episodes ... you have to end each part with something that will keep people interested and coming back for more." He certainly did that in Monday's first episode which started with Kate on a cruise on the Danube, one year after a boating accident that left her husband Larry missing, presumed drowned, and her brother dead. While having a quiet drink in a Viennese cafe, a strangely familiar man sits beside her, and she is shocked to find that it's Larry.
This is, I believe, the third year that Barry has written a story for the summer editions of The Herald. Last year's story, Blood Pearl, was set in Broome in the north west of Western Australia. And the 2006 story was Blood in Umbria. I have enjoyed all of them.
The bad news is that unless you can get hold of print copies of the The Herald you won't be able to read it, as the story doesn't appear to be available from the newspaper's website.
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