by Chris Hammer

Part of the A Martin Scarsden Thriller Series

Political / Legal Thrillers Crime and Mystery Books of the Month Star Books Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading Expert Review of Trust

Full of intriguing suspense and incredibly pacy action, this fabulous crime thriller and LoveReading Star Book is set in Sydney.

A smart, fast-moving, and riveting crime thriller, make sure you set aside plenty of reading time as I didn’t want to put Trust down. Martin races to help girlfriend Mandy after checking his voicemail and hearing her scream before the call cuts off. Trust is the third in the Martin Scarsden series, the first and Chris Hammer’s debut Scrublands won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasy New Blood Dagger in 2019. So far, each book has seen a different setting, starting in the Australian interior followed by a small coastal town with Silver, and now we enter Sydney. While a couple of previous characters crop up, Martin and Mandy are the main draw. You could potentially head straight into this and read it successfully as a standalone but for the best experience I really do recommend that you start with Scrublands. I feel as though a lot of unanswered questions from Martin and Mandy’s past are thoroughly and successfully covered here. The author’s background as a journalist can be felt as the corruption of power and privilege is examined in the most punchy way. This is a series you can really get your teeth into, intelligent and challenging, yet as readable as can be, I really do hope there is more to come. Trust is a fabulously suspense filled, powerful and pacy read that we just had to include as a LoveReading Star Book.

Liz Robinson

Trust Synopsis

The stunning new novel from the No.1 international bestselling author of Scrublands and 'master of Australian noir' Chris Hammer.

On a bright sunny day in Port Silver, ex-journalist Martin Scarsden misses a call from his girlfriend Mandy. Checking his voicemail later, all he hears is her terrified scream before the phone cuts off.

Back at the house, he finds a policeman unconscious on the floor, and Mandy gone.

So starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life deep.

And for the first time, Mandy finds denial impossible, now the body of a man has been discovered - a man to whom she was engaged to marry. It's time to face her demons once and for all; it's time she learned how to trust.

Set in a Sydney riven with corruption and nepotism, privilege and power, TRUST is the third riveting novel from award-winning and internationally acclaimed writer Chris Hammer.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781472272942
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Author: Chris Hammer
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 480 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Trust

Deep State
London Calling
How to Kidnap the Rich
Without Prejudice

Trust Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

How do you find the truth when you don't know who to trust or if they will trust you? A tale of betrayal, conspiracy and suspicion.

This story of betrayal, conspiracy and suspicion takes various twists and turns in a way that means you don't know who to trust. It follows two main characters, Mandy and Martin, who try to find the link between their past and present in a who-done-it adventure.

Mandy's past seems to catching up with her and her partner Martin, a crime journalist, gets caught up in helping her uncover a web of deceit. Without giving anything away, the crimes go beyond what they imagine and before they know it their lives appear to be in danger.

I enjoyed the unravelling of this story and the different characters. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy crime fiction.

Cat Hogwood

Hammer is a very good author and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Trust is the third book by Chris Hammer featuring the journalist Martin Scarsden and his partner Mandalay (Mandy).
The first two, Scrublands and Silver, are set in small towns in rural Australia, Trust is set in Sydney. As a result I found that it loses a lot of the atmosphere of an oppressively hot, contained setting, which is what makes the books so different. I kept having to remind myself that it was Sydney and not London, as a lot of the place names I associate with the latter, e.g. Hyde Park.
Martin and Mandy find themselves, unintentionally, in Sydney, having left their home town of Port Silver, and get caught up in kidnapping and murder. They are in the centre of some rather nasty events involving secret societies and fraud.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the three books, I found that I wasn't completely hooked by this one. I think it's because of the setting which could have been any city really. The book itself is a very accomplished work, with a gripping storyline, and flowed along at a good pace. It might help to have read the first two to connect more with the main characters, but this is a standalone novel.
Hammer is a very good author and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Christine woolfenden

Martin Scarsden is shocked by a voice message from his girlfriend Mandy containing only a scream, then the line goes dead. To say more would give away plot details so I will say only that you should be prepared to lose hours once you start reading!

Journalist Martin Scarsden is shocked to receive a voice message from his girlfriend Mandy containing only a scream, then the line goes dead. What follows is a fast paced thriller as Martin and Mandy confront the secrets from her past and learn that trust is key to establishing the facts about what really happened, and to secure their future together. A cast of well developed supporting characters and many plot twists and turns leave you wondering who the bad guys really are and what to believe. To say more would give away plot details so I will say no more. But be prepared to lose hours once you start reading.

Set in Sydney, Australia, this is Chris Hammer’s third book featuring Martin Scarsden and once again it is a gripping page turner. I found myself wondering if Martin and Mandy will ever be allowed to lead a quiet life, they have certainly earned it! You do not need to have read his earlier books to enjoy Trust, but I strongly recommend reading them; you will get more out of Trust if you do, but they are well worth the read in their own right.

Alison Burns

Great book, complex, characters and the situation are very believable. You won't be able to put it down, so make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy it.

I hadn't read any books by Chris Hammer before, but I will be reading more by him in the future.

Trust appears to be the third book in the Martin Scarsden series. It would have helped to have read the other books first for more background, but not essential.

What a page turner! I was stuck in a 5 hour traffic jam and was so pleased to have the book with me - it kept me well occupied. A definite book I didn't want to put down.

It's bloody, it's complex, the characters and the situation are very believable. Martin's partner, Mandy, disappears - but the big question is why? Of course, who can you trust? Read the book to find out.

Alison Bisping

Chris Hammer is back with a bang. Trust is powerful, gripping and chock-full of twists and turns. If this is your first encounter with Martin and Mandy, Trust will leave you wanting to know more.

For Martin Scarsden, life is finally good. Settled by the beach in Port Silver with his partner Mandy and her son Liam, they have put the stressful events of the past behind them and moved on. Or so they thought. Their calm is shattered by a terrifying voicemail from Mandy which initiates a sequence of events and leaves Martin reeling. As he lurches from one dangerous situation to the next Martin must learn to trust his instincts and rise to the challenge. He is forced to bring all of his journalistic talents into play in order to untangle the web of murder, corruption and conspiracy and save the woman he loves but as the truth starts to unfold before him he discovers more and more about the past that Mandy has always casually brushed aside. Martin now finds himself questioning how well he really knows Mandy and exactly how far he should trust her.

Chris Hammer is back with a bang. Trust is powerful and gripping. It’s complicated but not overly so and the twists and turns will leave you second-guessing the players over and over again. The back-story of the Mess is a perfect backdrop and I love the fact that we learn so much more about both Martin and Mandy as the plot unfolds. The further development of their complex and interesting characters certainly left me wanting to know more.

As a sequel to both Scrublands and Silver, Trust alludes to past events however it provides sufficient detail in order to stand alone. Quite honestly though, once you've read Trust you are going to want to get your hands on Chris Hammer's earlier books ASAP!

S Harper

Chris Hammer 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)

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781472272942
Publication date: 08/07/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472272904
Publication date: 07/01/2021
Format: Hardback

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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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