Martin Roth – Prophets and Loss

From the Back Cover:

Forgiveness is the most attractive of the virtues. Until you actually have someone to forgive. When Melissa Stonelea’s born-again Christian husband Grant is found strangled in the bondage room of the city’s classiest brothel, a page of the Bible stuffed in his mouth, she doesn’t need to hear more of her pastor’s sermons on the healing powers of forgiveness. She needs revenge.

Enter private detective Johnny Ravine, seeking the quiet life in Australia after more than twenty years as a freedom fighter in East Timor. The murdered man was his best friend. But, as he starts to investigate the slaying, a mysterious phone call and then a bullet through his window plunge him into the heart of a deadly terrorist conspiracy. Suddenly he finds himself locked inside a shady world of stock market manipulators, sex workers and underground militia, while desperately hunting the killers. But Johnny is concealing a violent past and demons of his own. Can he crack the mystery before he himself cracks?

Amanda’s Review:

When I first saw Prophets and Loss, I thought it would be a self-help book for financial prosperity, so I didn’t look twice at it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I had the benefit of meeting the author early this year, I learned it was in fact a murder-mystery novel. Of course, then I had to read it, and I am so glad I did. I loved it. It was Australian through and through — particularly Melburnian in flavour. Even Roth’s metaphors bore an Aussie feel, which delighted me no end.

Roth’s hero, an unlikely subject — being an illegal immigrant with a past which haunts him — was very believable. I almost felt as though I sat in the room with him as he unfolded his story. Johnny Ravine’s spiritual journey was interesting to follow as well, as he had plenty of questions of his own, and not all of them were answered, leaving the reader with something to seek.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It kept me turning pages, apart from a short part in the middle where I felt it slowed pace a little, but then it revved up again, keeping me up past my bedtime. I’m now looking forward to the next Johnny Ravine mystery… Hot Rock Dreaming.

About the Author:

Martin Roth is a leading Australian financial writer. After graduating in law from Auckland University, he embarked on a career in journalism, and has worked on daily newspapers in New Zealand, Australia, England and Greece. For seventeen years he lived in Japan, and as a Tokyo-based foreign correspondent his reports from Asia appeared in publications around the world, including the Guardian in the UK and the Wall Street Journal in the US. He has also spent six months working on kibbutzim in Israel, and was for seven years a securities analyst with British merchant banks. He now lives in Melbourne with his Korean wife and three sons, and is the author of many books.

For more information, go to, or see his author page at Amazon.

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