Wednesday 12th September, 6.30pm

'Scrublands' by Chris Hammer (buy it here)

     

Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life in Australia that we need right now ... Remarkable' Sydney Morning Herald

A powerful, compelling, vividly written Australian crime novel that will be perfect for fans of Peter May and Jane Harper.

A dead river. A dying town. A killer's secrets...

In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.

A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don't fit with the accepted version of events.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers - missing since the time of the massacre - are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.

- REVIEWS -

Brilliant and unsettling, Scrublands stands at the junction of Snowtown and Wake in Fright, that place where Australia’s mirage of bush tranquility evaporates into our hidden fears.

Paul Daley, writer and journalist

Scrublands kidnapped me for 48 hours. I was hopelessly lost in the scorching Australian landscape, disoriented but completely immersed in the town and people of Riversend, as the heat crackled off the pages. I was devastated when it was time to go back to the real world. This book is a force of nature. A must-read for all crime fiction fans.

Sarah Bailey, author of The Dark Lake and Into the Night

A clever, intricate mystery . . . a complex, compelling story deeply rooted in its small-town setting. Highly recommended.

Dervla McTiernan, author of The Ruin

Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life in Australia that we need right now. In its concern with crime beyond the suburban fringe, it sits right up there with the late Peter Temple's Broken Shore, Garry Disher's Bitterwash Road and Jane Harper's The Dry, even as it extends their focus and reach.

Sydney Morning Herald