No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
An award winning debut and start to a fabulous new crime series. Scrublands won the John Creasy New Blood Dagger in 2019 and was described by The Crime Writers’ Association as “a heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful with an acute sense of place.” Set in Australia with a journalist in the starring role, this is a series that promises much.
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.
Closing date: 30/11/2020
A compulsively page-turning thriller where the parched interior looms as large as the characters -- Katharine Murphy - Guardian Australia
Hammer's portrait of a dying, drought-struck town numbed by a priest's unimaginable act of violence will capture you from the first explosive page and refuse to let go until the last. His remarkable writing takes you inside lives twisted by secrets festering beneath the melting heat of the inland, the scrub beyond waiting to burst into flame. Scrublands is the read of the year. Unforgettable - Tony Wright
A superbly drawn, utterly compelling evocation of a small town riven by a shocking crime - Mark Brandi
Brilliant and unsettling, Scrublands stands at the junction of Snowtown and Wake in Fright, that place where Australia's mirage of bush tranquillity 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
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 - author of The Shrouded Path
It's hard not to compare Chris Hammer's Scrublands to Jane Harper's acclaimed The Dry ... [It will] capture your imagination from the first page -- Karen Hardy - The Age
Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life in Australia that we need right now ... 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 ... Remarkable -- Sue Turnbull - Sydney Morning Herald
Incendiary . . . A rattling good read, ambitious in scale and scope and delivering right up to the last, powerfully moving page -- Declan Hughes - Irish Times
Atmospheric, utterly gripping, and written with devastating beauty. Scrublands is as scorching as wildfire and as hard to look away from -- Gytha Lodge - author of She Lies in Wait
A heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful... Extraordinary - AJ Finn
Well-rounded characters, masterful plotting and real breadth; this is an epic and immersive read -- Laura Wilson - Guardian
My pick for debut thriller of the month (and maybe of 2019) ... Beautifully written, this would make a terrific small-screen series -- Bethanne Patrick - Washington Post
Extremely accomplished ... Deliciously noirish ... Set in the blistering heat of a remote Australian town ravaged by drought and threatened by bushfires, this is a complex, meaty, intelligent mystery ... Hammer's writing is so evocative the heat practically rises off the pages of Scrublands -- Alison Flood - Guardian 'Best Recent Thrillers'
A dark and brilliant thriller, one that lingers in the mind - Mail On Sunday
An almost perfect crime novel ... Intelligent, thought-provoking, great narrative energy, a central character who's imperfect but self-aware, and of course that amazing setting ... I loved it' -- Ann Cleeves - author of Raven Black and Wild Fire
Stunning ... Scrublands is that rare combination, a page-turner that stays long in the memory -- Joan Smith - Sunday Times (Crime Book of the Month)
Publication date: 11/07/2019
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2019
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
|Publication date:||8th January 2019|
|Publisher:||Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Crime & mystery,|
Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. For many years he was a roving foreign correspondent for SBS TV's flagship current affairs program Dateline. He has reported from more than thirty countries on six continents. Chris's non-fiction book, The River, published in 2010 to critical acclaim, was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award. Scrublands, his first novel, was published in 2018 and won the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award, as well as being shortlisted for ...More About Chris Hammer