Under The Midnight Sky…
About the Book:
Chilling secrets buried deep in wild bushland drive this thrilling new novel from bestseller Anna Romer
When an injured teenager goes missing at a remote bushland campground, local journalist Abby Bardot is determined to expose the area’s dark history. The girl bears a striking resemblance to the victims of three brutal murders that occurred twenty years ago and Abby fears the killer is still on the loose.
But the newspaper Abby works for wants to suppress the story for fear it will scare off tourists to the struggling township. Haunted by her own turbulent memories, Abby is desperate to learn the truth and enlists the help of Tom Gabriel, a reclusive crime writer. At first resentful of Abby’s intrusion, Tom’s reluctance vanishes when they discover a hidden attic room in his house that shows evidence of imprisonment from half a century before.
As Abby and Tom sift through the attic room and discover its tragic history, they become convinced it holds the key to solving the bushland murders and finding the missing girl alive.
But their quest has drawn out a killer, someone with a shocking secret who will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.
‘Memories came so vividly. Why was that? They should fade with age, grow ever more distant. Instead, there were times –like now –when they assaulted her with a jumble of sights and sounds and smells. Crushed eucalypt leaves. The eerie whispers and crackles of the forest at night. The sigh of water racing in the gorge. And her sister’s weight in her arms. The sticky heat of blood on her hands.’
It’s as though every new novel from Anna Romer sets a whole new standard for Australian fiction. I don’t know how she does it, topping perfection over and over. Under the Midnight Sky is a novel that I was enthralled by, from start to finish. Fortunately, I was trapped in a car on a 10 hour journey, so there was little reason for me to put the novel down. This is truly gripping crime fiction, with gothic echoes, a slow burning connection between two of the main characters, and a mystery that ripples through generations, staining a town’s reputation. The plotting is masterful, the character development strong and steady. There’s a twist in this novel that I never anticipated, but it made such perfect sense once all was revealed. A chillingly atmospheric read that led to a pit of dread lodging itself within me for the duration. Highly recommended, and will no doubt make my top reads list at the end of the year.
‘Leaning back in his chair, he looked at the ceiling. Saw, in his mind’s eye, the hidden room with its barred window and bloodstained sheets. The two young sisters caged together there for five years. Faded little songbirds forgotten by the world.’
‘Pinching the bridge of my nose, I tried to summon the words to describe what I was feeling. The way my throat closed up from the stale mustiness, the way my pulse began to fly at the sight of the shadow-infested corners. The way my spirit shrank inside me like a walnut withering in its shell.’
Thanks is extended to Simon & Schuster Australia via NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Under The Midnight Sky for review.
About the Author:
Anna Romer was born in Australia to a family of booklovers. She led a nomadic life for many years, travelling around Europe and Britain in an ancient Kombi van where she discovered a passion for history.
These days she lives in a little old cottage surrounded by bushland, writing stories about dark family secrets, rambling houses, characters haunted by the past, and settings that feature the uniquely beautiful Australian landscape. Anna’s debut bestselling novel was Thornwood House, followed by Lyrebird Hill and Beyond the Orchard. See AnnaRomer.com.au
Under The Midnight Sky
Published by Simon & Schuster Australia
Released 23 April 2019