15 Aug 2018



Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.
- Back Cover Blurb

It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate.
- First Sentence, Prologue

They looked at each other. Grant Dow had always been older, bigger, stronger. Constantly hovering on the cusp of anger, he sent people scurrying to the other side of the street as he approached. Now older, fatter and with the faint whiff of chronic ill-health on the horizon, the bitterness seemed to seep from his pores.
- Memorable Moment, Page 163

SOURCE ... An Oxford Centre Reading Group read.


MY THOUGHTS ... Gripped from the off, I became more and more engrossed. Plainly seeing main character, Aaron Falk, in my mind's eye ... always a sign of a book well written (to my mind anyway).

Portrayed at its most cruel, as bleak as the snow-blown plains in the Nordic noir that has become so popular of late, the bushfires that promise death and destruction synonymous with the tensions that threaten to engulf the inhabitants of Kiewarra, it isn't just Falk (or indeed the other characters) that the author brings to life but a whole way of life. 

Not just the one mystery but two, for running alongside the murder of the Hadlers is the decades old mystery of just what exactly happened to Ellie Deacon, childhood friend of Aaron and Luke and were either of them involved, the incidents connected? 

A story of atonement, of the sins of the past with twists and turns aplenty, the author scattering possibilities like confetti, this is way up there as one of my favourite reads of 2018.


Mary @Bookfan blog said...

Great review. It's on my TBR list.

Kelly said...

This sounded so good as I read the first portion of your review, I'll admit I was relieved that you enjoyed it so much. I especially like the memorable moment you chose.

I'm off to add this to my wish list.

Brian Joseph said...

I can see why you found this engaging, it sounds very good. I tend to like stories involving people going back to the place of thier youth after being away for years.

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds in every way
like an interesting and
truly memorable book. And
I have added it to my
And thank you for your
excellent review.

Melliane said...

oh that's great there!

Karen Alderman said...

Wow - high praise coming from you.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Lindsay said...

Delighted to read that you enjoyed this one a lot too Tracy, me too. And I've since read and also enjoyed her second book.