Penguin Random House
In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is living under an assumed name and rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and a chance to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark.
After tragedy tore her family apart, Kristy fled to Cooktown with her feisty teenage daughter, Abby. She hoped being part of the small community would help them both heal, but Abby’s sports coach is turning out to be a compelling distraction.
When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger in Cooktown. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.
This was a dramatic page turning read which had all the elements I desire in a great contemporary novel – well developed characters- some you will like, some you won’t. A complex plot that has several story arcs; this novel has threads that discuss such issues as domestic violence, bulimia and life in rural Australia/life on the farm. The settings are amazing – although we have only travelled a small area of Queensland I was able to recognise this setting in so many coastal towns we visited. There is plenty of action, drama and intrigue – the pages almost turn over by themselves urging you to read on and did I mention the writing? Excellent.
This is a well-crafted and executed narrative. My only difficulty with this novel was trying to decide how to describe the style of this book – I don’t think the term rural fiction does it justice – the book is located in rural Australia but is not defined by its location. Romance/romantic thriller? The books does have characters and so of course there will be a range of relationships in the book – there is a blossoming romantic thread but romance is not the sole purpose of the novel, there are discussions re family dynamic/relationships, friendship and camaraderies – all aspects of community are to be found here. A cosy crime this is not. Action packed, tense, full of suspense – tick. I think best description for this read is contemporary Australian fiction. How would you describe this book?