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Publisher's Summary

In Riversend, an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest steps out of his church and calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself. 

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don't fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can't ignore his doubts nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest's deadly rampage. 

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend, and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal. 

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.

©2018 Chris Hammer (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A POWERFUL BOOK

Drawn to it like a magnet gripping ,powerful. If u are Australian grown up in the bush during the drought, this book transports u right back there in the heat people smells feelings and hard ship. Combine it with a sophisticated crime or 2 and you are caught. Un able to stay away from it like a must have long drink of water.
Narrator was perfect for this Australian book a great combination.
promotional material on internet is a wow factor and gives foundations to the town .looking forward to another.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Scublands a 5 star listen

Absolutely loved this book. An Australian classic. Lots of twists and turns. Cant wait to hear more from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Evokes the Outback

Hammer's writing has you feeling the heat and dust and tension; anyone driving across the Hay Plain in summer will instantly relate to the narrative. The plot is often tangential but always relevant to the main story-line. Hope there are more novels to come.

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Breathtaking

I absolutely loved this book. Having grown up on the Hay plains north of the Mallee scrub; I am intimately familiar with the towns and the landscape. The author does an outstanding job of capturing the essence of the Riverina Summer, the culture of its townspeople, the devastating effects of the drought and the slow death of some rural communities. The plot was intensely convoluted but captivating and the plot lines woven exquisitely together in a ‘butterfly effect’ manner. The narrator has an excellent voice and brings life to the characters in his tone. I thoroughly enjoyed Scrublands and will be waiting for Chris’s next book with bated breath.

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absolutely loved it!

fast paced, in depth descriptions leave you feeling like you know the town and characters. Amazing story best book I've read in 2018.

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Gripping mystery

The book was gripping from start to finish. Multiple turns and a fantastic complex characters

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Fantastic Read!

If you loved The Dry you will love this. :)
Vivid Australian country town and people with an intriguing and twisting story that you won’t predict. Highly recommend!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • D. Keith
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 31-10-2018

Complicated!

Very complicated with multiple storylines, some of which are relevant but others aren't. Makes for a very long drawn out story, with regular recaps included by way of the main character mulling over everything that's happened.

I did enjoy the narrator who has a calming voice and very good at portraying the wide variety of characters.

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Outstanding Ozzy story

Totally loved this story from the get go.

The narration excellent, the many diverse characters believable, the twists and turns. captivating to the very end. Well done everyone!

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Captures the spirit of the outback

Although some aspects of the storyline are a little implausible, it makes for an intiguing read. Chris Hammer has an almost poetic ability in expressing the outback which puts you there in the moment. A lyrical Australian novel which explores human frailties and motivations. A great read (listen). Will seek out more from this author.