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Scrublands

Narrated by: Dorje Swallow
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (787 ratings)

Non-member price: $33.43

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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

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Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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slow start, brilliant ending

The beginning of the story seemed a little slow. it didn't give any hint of the amazingly complex nature of the story to come. The narrator was extremely skilled and the story line was intriguingly compelling. I'm sad to leave Riversend, such a close knit and caring community, but not without its demons.

8 of 8 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good

I enjoyed this book. I seem to prefer Australian books with Australian narrators. The scene is well set and gives you a good idea what Marin looks at when he arrives in town and throughout the story. I had many questions, and they were all answered at the end. I recommend this book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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best book I have ever listened to

I have been with audible for 2 years and most enjoy this genre. this book was the best I have listened to. well layered story, constantly unfolding intrigue that is not too far fetched, great imagery of rural australia (I grew up rurally), insight into reporting and characters that were multidimensional. I cant wait for his next book. also expertly narrated and perfect voice for the book. 10/10

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Excellent narration

Excellent narration - great story! We listened to this over 2 very long days of driving. It was appreciated that the author could convey violence and sex without graphic details.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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beautiful language

first time for me this author. won't be the last. excellent and an intriguing complex story line.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Death , deception & drought

Set in a small country town in deep drought, on the anniversary of the seemingly senseless shooting of 5 locals gunned down by their charismatic & highly regarded priest.

Apparently motiveless this anniversary is to be the comeback story written by a traumatised war correspondent reporting for a major newspaper.

The plot throws everything into the mix: stolen identities, a beautiful young bookstore owner, a con man, murdered backpackers, extramarital affairs, rumour, rape, bikie gangs, drugs, young psychopaths, spooks & a washed up journalist seeking to regain his moral compass & meaning in his life.

Individual characterisations are excellent as are the depictions of a media feeding frenzy & the struggle of the local police to deal with the new discovery of the bodies of two murdered German backpackers whose bodies are uncovered when dam levels drop after a ferocious bush fire.

It’s an entertaining read, well narrated & a good companion on a long drive. My only criticism is the unlikely choice of career as a priest. For me the distance between Afghanistan & the altar is a step too far on the credibility scale. I also think the story would have benefited from fewer subplot twists & a more aggressive editor.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Captures the unique Australian out-back.<br />

Light and easy listening. Lots of sub plots. Good narrator who brought the characters to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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It’s a cracker

Great Aussie story that keeps you guessing. Interesting characters and good story line. Nicely narrated. It’s a ripper.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark devine
  • 19-09-2019

Gripping tale

In the top 10 audio books for sure ( I have done more than 500) enjoy

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  • Mark
  • 04-02-2019

Author Chris Hammer and narrator Dorje Swallow

Author Chris Hammer and narrator Dorje Swallow both did a great job with this book. Hammer's descriptions of characters and locations made me feel like I'd just walked into the same places and people. Swallow's tempo and intonations were exactly as you'd expect from these kind of characters and perfect for this book. A top tier book in my collection and I'd like to see another one fom these two.