Mini Reviews

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou

the-stoningFrom Goodreads: “A small town in outback Australia wakes to a crime of medieval savagery. A local schoolteacher is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion instantly falls on the refugees at the new detention centre on Cobb’s northern outskirts. Tensions are high, between whites and the local indigenous community, between immigrants and the townies.
Still mourning the recent death of his father, Detective Sergeant George Manolis returns to his childhood hometown to investigate. Within minutes of his arrival, it’s clear that Cobb is not the same place he left. Once it thrived, but now it’s a poor and derelict dust hole, with the local police chief it deserves. And as Manolis negotiates his new colleagues’ antagonism, and the simmering anger of a community destroyed by alcohol and drugs, the ghosts of his past begin to flicker to life.
Vivid, pacey and almost dangerously atmospheric, The Stoning is the first in a new series of outback noir featuring DS Manolis, himself an outsider, and a good man in a world gone to hell.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Jane Harper’s crime novels set in the Australian Outback, I desperately wanted to read this after I reading rave reviews a few months ago. Just like the aforementioned books there is wonderful sense of place in this novel. You can feel the heat, the dust, and desolation of Cobb. It’s definitely not a place I’d want to visit, and the main character wasn’t keen either. The crime was as brutal as the town and the majority of it’s residents, shocking and hard to believe. Fortunately Detective Sergeant George Manolis is there to do a proper job and find out exactly want happened and why, despite the lack of evidence and openly racist and hostile locals. This was a fantastic start to a new series featuring DS George Manolis, and I can’t wait for the next book! Highly recommended if you enjoy gritty crime novels.

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Outback Creed by Jonathan MacPherson read by Steve Shanahan

cover241747-mediumFrom Goodreads: β€œA city lawyer, on assignment in the outback, intervenes in an abduction and becomes ensnared in a world of corruption, billion dollar stakes and murder.
Tom McLaren is the go-to negotiator for a corporate law firm, and is accustomed to success and all its trappings. His skills are put to the test when he and his colleagues head to the outback, hoping to persuade Aboriginal Elders to give up their land to a powerful mining company. The land is worth billions, but the Elders won’t budge, and Tom faces the rare prospect of failure. Yet there are hidden forces at play that will stop at nothing to make sure a deal is done, even if that means taking the life of an Aboriginal boy. When Tom and his colleagues discover the shocking plot, they also become targets, and the result is murder. In his frantic hunt for answers, Tom realizes his most dangerous enemy may be closer than he feared. With relentless killers closing in fast, Tom must uncover the truth…before it’s too late!
Award-winning narrator Steve Shanahan (Jane Harper’s Bestsellers The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and more) delivers a riveting performance, bringing the Australian outback and its characters to life in a heart-stopping thriller loaded with action and shocking twists.

When I spotted that Steve Shanahan was the narrator of this ‘listen now’ audiobook on NetGalley I didn’t hesitate to add it to my shelf. He’s narration of Jane Harper’s books was superb and I had no doubt that he do the same again with this shorter audiobook. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced mystery featuring lawyer Tom McClaren who gets embroiled in a child abduction, and more. He thought he was going to negotiate a land deal with Aboriginal Elders, but things went wrong very quickly and he was thrown into a nightmarish situation, not knowing who to trust or whether he’d survive or not. Highly recommended if you enjoy pacey thrillers on audio!

Thanks to City Beach Books and NetGalley for the my digital copy.