Review – When Only One – Meg Gatland-Veness

When Only One

Meg Gatland- Veness

Panterra Press

ISBN:9780648987666

Description:

‘There’s someone in the school. Someone who’s not supposed to be there. This person is walking towards the classroom. They’re holding something in their hands. Something terrifying.’

Sam lives with his mum, dad and four brothers in a small farming town. At his school, there are three main factions: the rich kids, the mid-grounders and the farm kids who live on the outskirts. Sam is a comfortable mid-grounder and life is pretty good. He works as a lifeguard at the local surf club, is saving to buy his first car, he’s training with his friends for the Ironman challenge, and on Sunday afternoons he and his family take care packages to their less fortunate neighbours. Then, five years since they last spoke, Emily Burrow climbs back into Sam’s life and everything changes.

Emily’s life is very different to Sam’s – her absent father has returned and her mum struggles with her mental health. Sam does his best to be there for Emily when he wasn’t for so long, but there seems to be no right way to help her.

When Rei starts at school, Sam is smitten. Rei’s parents are social workers, she’s from the rich side of town, and her life seems a thousand miles away from how the kids on the outskirts live. In a world that’s ill-equipped to support kids struggling with unseen burdens, is there a way to help Emily before the worst happens?

From the bestselling author of I Had Such Friends comes a novel that’s gritty, full of heart and shines a light on kids who are doing it tough in a rural Australian town.

My View:
Where can I start? I was so impressed with this read! It’s gently written despite the emotive, evocative and difficult material it discusses. And for some readers, some of the issues raised here could trigger memories of events or actions that are distressing, Panterra Press hope those so affected will connect with https://au.reachout.com/

The book – the prologue sets a disturbing scene; a shooting in a school, who is involved, why? A grim but intriguing introduction to the narrative.

Each chapter begins with brief recollections of the incident by various people at the scene. These recollections juxtaposed against the chapter contents that recount events before and leading up to the shooting create tension and is a powerful and seductive device to engage the reader in this story of moral dilemmas, of life in a small rural town, of domestic violence, of poverty, of loss, of grief, of addictions, of mental health issues…this gently spoken book touches on so many contemporary issues. It doesn’t preach, it allows the reader to think, to assimilate all the background information and to ask their own questions.

A powerful and emotional read. 5 stars.

Post Script: Gun Control – Peter Corris

A gritty, tough no nonsense crime thriller – a great read!

Cover Gun Control

Peter Corris

Gun Control

Cliff Hardy #40

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760112066

rrp A$29.99

 

Description:

Is Sydney gun city? It certainly seems so when Cliff Hardy is hired by entrepreneur and one-time pistol-shooting champion Timothy Greenhall to investigate the violent death of his troubled son. Soon Hardy is pitched into a world of crooked cops – former members of the Gun Control Unit – outlaw bikies and honest police trying to quietly clean the stables.

 

Two more murders raise the stakes and relationships are stretched to breaking point. Hardy hooks up with a determined policewoman and forms an unlikely alliance with a charismatic bikie chief.

 

Uncovering the tangled conspiracy behind the murders takes Hardy to the Blue Mountains and Camden, to plush legal chambers and a confrontation in an inner-west park – all against the roar of 750cc engines.

 

My View:

A gritty, tough no nonsense crime thriller – a great read!

 

I have only read a couple of books from this series but I want to read them all! Can you imagine the delight of discovering an author you love who has published forty book in a series and you haven’t read more than one or two of them – forty books you will be able to consume one after the other? Fantastic! I cannot imagine I more enjoyable way to spend some time.

 

Back to this book – contemporary issues, a straight talking PI and a secondary character (Paul) who is intriguing and whom I think we will see more of in future books – I hope. A great read. Start a new good habit today – pick up a book in the Cliff Hardy series. Enjoy.