2017 Reviews · Australian · Beauty and Lace review · contemporary fiction · romance · suspense

Beauty & Lace Book Review: Diamond Sky by Annie Seaton

Title: Diamond Skydiamons sky small.jpg

Author:  Annie Seaton

Published: June 27th 2017

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 356

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

The Kimberley can be a haven for those who can stand the heat, but its isolated beauty can also be deadly, if you’re not paying attention…

The remote Matsu diamond mine in the Kimberley is the perfect place for engineer Dru Porter to hide. Her insignificance in that vast and rugged landscape helps her feel invisible. And safe. Surely the terror she left behind in Dubai will never find her here.

Security specialist Connor Kirk knows from experience that beautiful women are capable of treachery. When he arrives at Matsu to investigate a diamond theft, he immediately suspects the reclusive but obviously capable Dru Porter. He knows she’s hiding something.

As Connor’s investigation deepens and Dru’s past catches up with her, their instant, mutual dislike threatens to blind them to the true danger lurking in the mine, one which could leave them both at the mercy of the desert…

My review:

I have really enjoyed following the Porter Sisters series by Australian fiction author Annie Seaton. I loved the first novel in this trilogy, Kakadu Sunset and I so was pleased when Seaton released another, Daintree. Diamond Sky is the final chapter in an engrossing series, which can also be easily read as a novel in its own right, without the support of the previous two novels. I am happy to report that Diamond Sky was a fantastic read all round.

It is time for the baby of the Porter sisters to have her story. The youngest member of the Porter family, Dru, has recently taken up at position at a remote Kimberley based diamond mine. Working as an environmental engineer at the Matsu diamond mine offers Dru the ideal place to conceal herself. Dru is hoping to put her turbulent time in living and working in Dubai behind her, after escaping a nightmare relationship.  The diamond mine is Dru’s new sanctuary, but when Connor Kirk, the mine’s new security specialist arrives on the scene, Dru’s life is shaken up once more. Investigating a diamond theft, Connor sets Dru in his sights as a potential suspect. The two seem to clash upon immediate acquaintance, but Connor’s fixation with Dru’s possible involvement in the diamond theft scandal may be detracting him from uncovering the true culprit. It is a dangerous time at the Matsu diamond mine. The vast Kimberley frontier and arid desert terrain seems to be holding some secrets that Dru and Connor must work together to discover.

It has been a great opportunity to experience the writing of Annie Seaton for the third time. I have really enjoyed my time with her books, especially this loosely tied together series. It seems a shame we have to say goodbye to this series, but I am very hopeful that Seaton has some fantastic new stories for us to discover in the pipeline.

What impressed me about Diamond Sky, soon after I picked up this novel to read, was the level of background knowledge Seaton has applied to her latest novel. Seaton has obviously taken the time to thoroughly research her main topic. The final result of this dedication to her research has meant that the reader is presented with an interesting wealth of knowledge, pertaining to all aspects of diamond mining. This ranges from developing our understanding of the different types and colours of diamonds that exist, the inner mechanics of a diamond mine, the lengthy rehabilitation of a mine site and the security measures put in place at mine sites. Overall, it made for an informative and riveting read, about a topic I have little previous knowledge on. I came away feeling like a diamond connoisseur thanks to Annie Seaton!

Diamond Sky offers the reader a fantastic array of genres. In some respects this novel reads mostly like a romantic suspense novel, but it also touches on crime and overall, it is a solid Australian rural fiction offering. Seaton sensitively and informatively weaves a thread into this novel involving indigenous land rights. The use of the mine site character of Rocky, a local indigenous man, adds more to this aspect of the story. I found this topic very interesting personally, especially learning how mine sites do aim to work with the traditional owners of the land, to restore a mine site to its original condition. Dru, the main character in Diamond Sky has a fascinating job, working as an environmental based engineer, who is involved in this process of restoring mine sites to their former glory, ensuring the land remains as uncompromised as possible. Kudos to Seaton from bringing this aspect of mining our attention.

Dru, the lead in Diamond Sky, was an interesting character to sink your teeth into. On the outset she is very distant and I could very easily see why she was labelled the ‘ice queen’ by the workers at the male dominated mine site. Once you get past this barrier and Seaton reveals key aspects of Dru’s character, especially her past history in Dubai, she becomes much clearer. The aspects of the novel that delved into Dru’s experiences living and working in Dubai were the parts I enjoyed the most. This back story was a mixture of both heartbreaking and intriguing at the same time. I thought this aspect of the narrative was executed well by Seaton.

Dru is supported by hero of the story, Connor Kirk. In some respects these two leads are very similar personality wise. Both want to fly under the radar at the Matsu diamond mine and they also want to keep people at arm’s length. It seems for both Connor and Dru, the less they get involved with others, the better. Dru’s reasons for keeping a distance are more for emotional purposes, while Connor’s detachment is mainly for work purposes. It does make it hard to initially like these characters, until their tough exteriors are broken down and their pasts are revealed to the reader. Seaton ramps up the tension between these two leads extremely well. It was fun to observe this couple’s immediate dislike of one another, their reservations of each other and their eventual relationship. Along the way to this burgeoning relationship, Dru and Connor must contend with a few obstacles thrown their direction, especially in determining who is the real culprit of the diamond theft at the mine. This segment of the storyline allows for a range of secondary characters, both good and bad, to fill the pages of Diamond Sky.

I absolutely loved the setting of Diamond Sky. Currently the north of Western Australia, the Kimberley, where the bulk of the action of this novel is set, seems much more appealing than here in the cold capital of WA. The warm weather, along with the stunning scenery in the Kimberley, complete with rugged ranges and huge gorges, would be a wonderful place to visit. I would love to see an actual mine site in this region in operation and Diamond Sky offers the reader the closest way to do this – through reading this novel. Seaton treats the setting aspect of her novel with the insight and respect it deserves.  Diamond Sky is not entirely set in the Kimberley, the narrative moves as the mystery and action aspect of the novel demands to be solved. We also get a glimpse of life in Dubai and Antwerp in these areas of the narrative, which I did enjoy.

Despite the fact that I am sad to see the end of this addictive series, I was really appreciative of the fact that Seaton gave the novel a fitting end. We get a small glimpse of the Porter sisters as a whole at the conclusion of the novel, complete with a lovely happy ending. The mystery and crime aspect of the novel is closed off well, but the process to get this end was far from predictable, which was great. Now Seaton’s Porter Sisters series has come to an end, I look to the future and eagerly wait what Annie Seaton is ready to bestow on us story wise next!

Diamond Sky by Annie Seaton was published in June 2017 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Diamond Sky, Annie Seaton, visit here.

*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty and Lace. To read the original review on the Beauty and Lace website please visit here.

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