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Scrublands

by Chris Hammer

Crime / Mystery

LoveReading View on Scrublands

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.

Books in the Martin Scarsden Series:

1. Scrublands

2. Silver

Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Liz Robinson

Scrublands Synopsis

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.

Win an Epic Crime Fiction Bundle from Orenda!

Win an Epic Crime Fiction Bundle from Orenda!

Closing date: 30/11/2020

We have a brilliant selection of crime fiction books up for grabs from Orenda! This brilliant prize includes some of their latest releases over the next 3 months and would be the perfect head start on the holiday shopping or an early Christmas present to yourself! Books included in the bundle will be: A Song of Isolation by Michael J. Malone - published 17/09/2020 The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn - Published 17/09/2020 The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Bjoerg AEgisdottir - published 01/10/2020 Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardottir - published 01/10/2020 The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard- published 12/11/2020 Fallen Angels by Gunnar Staalesen - published 12/11/2020 This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th November 2020. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Scrublands Press Reviews

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)

If you loved this, you might like these...

City of Margins
Murder, Forgotten
A Song of Isolation
The Thursday Murder Club

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781472255143
Publication date: 11/07/2019
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472255129
Publication date: 08/01/2019
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472255143
Publication date: 11th July 2019
Author: Chris Hammer
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Genres: Crime / Mystery,
Categories: Crime & mystery,

About Chris Hammer

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 ...

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