Quietly spoken… a powerful voice.
No Place Like Home
Random House Australia
From bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caroline Overington comes another thought-provoking and heart-rending story, that reaches from the heart of Bondi to a small village in Tanzania.
Shortly after 9.30 in the morning, a young man walks into Surf City, Bondi’s newest shopping complex. He’s wearing a dark grey hoodie – and a bomb around his neck.
Just a few minutes later he is locked in a shop on the upper floor. And trapped with him are four innocent bystanders.
For police chaplain Paul Doherty, called to the scene by Senior Sergeant Boehm, it’s a story that will end as tragically as it began. For this is clearly no ordinary siege. The boy, known as Ali Khan, seems as frightened as his hostages and has yet to utter a single word.
The seconds tick by for the five in the shop: Mitchell, the talented schoolboy; Mouse, the shop assistant; Kimmi, the nail-bar technician; and Roger Callaghan, the real estate agent whose reason for being in Bondi that day is far from innocent.
And of course there’s Ali Khan. Is he the embodiment of evil, as the villagers in his Tanzanian birthplace believe? Or just an innocent boy, betrayed at every turn, who just wants a place to call home?
A very seductive novel –Paul Doherty, the police chaplain, is the narrator, his voice is very calm, reassuring, gentle and non threatening or judgmental. The police chaplain is a great listener- this is how he describes himself ,and he lets the characters of this novel quietly have a conversation they think is just with him; personal, intimate, all revealing and he is a supportive listener; he actively listens and we the audience through reading this book become a silent party to this conversation. I love this device – it is simple and makes the narrative easy to follow and play out in your mind and you feel comfortable listening to uncomfortable things: of refugee camp horror tales, of detention centres crisis, of small minded mean hearted people living small mean lives, of infidelity, and greed and sometimes you hear the voices of hope and love.
Slowly and deliberately you are reeled into this story …then POW you are knocked off your feet with the twist and reveal; the death your expecting, the death that seemed an obvious outcome didn’t quite work out the way you were lead to believe it would happen and then there is the twist…so sad.
This is a gently written, powerful book that will affect your emotions and will leave you thinking about the bigger issues.