book cover of Scrublands
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Scrublands

(2018)
(The first book in the Martin Scarsden series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Barry Awards Best First Novel (nominee)
* * * WINNER OF THE CWA JOHN CREASEY DAGGER * * *

'Shimmers ... a tortured tale of blood and loss'
Val McDermid

'Stunning ... Scrublands is that rare combination, a page-turner that stays long in the memory' Sunday Times (Crime Book of the Month)

The #1 Bestselling Australian crime novel, perfect for fans of Peter May and Jane Harper

In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.

A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don't fit with the accepted version of events.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers - missing since the time of the massacre - are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes 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.




Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Intelligent, thought-provoking... I loved it." - Ann Cleeves

"Chris Hammer's powerful debut Scrublands establishes his place among the handful of thriller writers who understand the importance of setting as character, deftly weaving the story of a landscape burned dry and a town whose residents are barely hanging on with a complicated mystery that could only happen in this place in exactly the way Hammer tells it. Fresh and hypnotic, complex and layered, Scrublands' gorgeous prose swept me up and carried me toward a conclusion that was both surprising and inevitable. I loved every word. Highly recommended." - Karen Dionne

"A heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful. This extraordinary debut, perfect for readers of the magnificent Jane Harper, seared my eyes and singed my heart. Don't miss it." - A J Finn

"Compelling...highly recommended." - Dervla McTiernan


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