This book was a great read. I enjoyed the characters, the mystery, the revealing of information, the pace, and the feel of the book. It’s always exciting reading books from Australia and understanding the feel of everything.
Scrublands is about a journalist, Martin, who is sent to a small town to report on how the town is coping one years after a massacre. The book delves into rural living, drought, mateship and secrets. One year ago, the local priest shot five parishioners and then himself. In Martin’s attempt to get a feel for the town and how they have moved on, he tries to understand why the massacre happened in the first place. This begins getting murky when the town seems split on their impression of the priest, from pure angelic to drinking/swearing/animal shooter. As the book continues, Martin uncovers more secrets from the town and begins to uncover what really happened. There is a love interest in the town, although Martin’s intentions are not initially clear. There is also corruption as well as a number of lies, and misinformation.
Chris Hammer has done a wonderful job in capturing rural Australian life. It is very fitting with the current climate and problems that farmers and rural towns face. He captures the Aussie spirit with his characters, who have a depth about them. I particularly enjoyed how many of the characters changed as you learn more about them. A great book, I am going to give it 4 stars as I feel the ending, although it was satisfactory, it wasn’t completely stellar. It required more or less (sorry for being cryptic but I don’t want to spoil anything).
Apologies for no image, I can’t seem to upload one.