Isobel Blackthorn is a new writer for me. This is the first book of hers I have read, but it won’t be my last. Her characterisation is brilliant, and now I’ve finished the book, I’m missing them. The book features just a handful of characters, and centres around half a dozen women, most of whom care nothing for the law. It is set in a small outback town - very small, just a crossroads really - and each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one or other of the women. No spoilers, but it’s worth every one of the five stars I’ve given it. Just buy it, it’s brilliant.
It’s a warm evening in the autumn of 1983 when Miriam Forster rolls into town in her broken down car.
Frankie the deer hunter, is up in the forested hinterland with her gun. Old Pearl the fisherwoman sits on her front deck down by the lagoon with her whisky and her dog. And Emily, the English backpacker, scrubs out the pie-encrusted kitchen at the roadhouse.
All is not well. There’s a hoon doing donuts at the crossroads and screaming down the fire trails in the woods; a suspicious-looking city-slicker with two small children, squatting in Fred’s shack down by the lake; a beanie-headed gaunt guy convalescing at the lighthouse; and an acne festooned creature in the hotel room next to Miriam, thrashing about in the night.
Gran Parks is stirring. Who will survive? Who will get away? Who will stay?