The Stunning, Word-of-Mouth Thriller of 2019
by Chris Hammer
Pub Date 08 Jan 2019
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A major launch for Allen and Unwin in Australia in July 2018, Scrublands was the number one bestselling novel there for four weeks, and in the top ten for many more.
‘An almost perfect crime novel, I'd say: intelligent, thought-provoking, great narrative energy, a central character who's imperfect but self-aware, and of course that amazing setting. As you'll have gathered, I loved it.’ ANN CLEEVES
‘A dark and brilliant thriller, one that lingers in the mind.’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘This sharply observed slice of outback noir makes good use of its closed-world setting: a sun-baked, drought-ravaged town…….well-rounded characters, masterful plotting and real breadth; this is an epic and immersive read’ GUARDIAN
‘a real page turner which rips along like a bush fire’ THE IRISH EXAMINER
‘an incendiary debut’ THE IRISH TIMES
‘that rare combination, a page-turner that stays long in the memory’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘A heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful. This extraordinary debut, perfect for readers of the magnificent Jane Harper, seared my eyes and singed my heart. Don't miss it.’ AJ Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
'Set in the parched Australian landscape, Scrublands is a brilliantly plotted thriller which reveals a town full of brooding secrets. I couldn't put this compelling debut down.' Sarah Ward
‘Meshes sociological insights, literary stylings, and a multi-layered crime tale into an epic novel that’s simply superb….For me, Hammer brought rural Australia, its towns and people and issues faced, to vivid life with a sweat-inducing authenticity.’ Craig Sisterson
‘Nuanced and strangely beautiful, Scrublands is a brilliant read’ Liz Loves Books
'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.