Book Review: Canticle Creek by Adrian Hyland

About the Book:

Two bodies.

One long hot summer.

A town that will never be the same.

When Adam Lawson’s wrecked car is found a kilometre from Daisy Baker’s body, the whole town assumes it’s an open and shut case. But Jesse Redpath isn’t from Canticle Creek. Where she comes from, the truth often hides in plain sight, but only if you know where to look.

When Jesse starts to ask awkward questions, she uncovers a town full of contradictions and a cast of characters with dark pasts, secrets to hide and even more to lose.

As the temperature soars, and the ground bakes, the wilderness surrounding Canticle Creek becomes a powderkeg waiting to explode.

All it needs is one spark.

Published by Ultimo Press

Released December 2021

My Thoughts:

Australian crime fiction really is at the top of its game as a genre of quality, in my opinion. The bar has been set high and our authors are clearing it with room to spare. Canticle Creek by Adrian Hyland was such a compelling read. With its sophisticated plot and well fleshed out characters, I raced through this one, reluctant to put it down, thinking about it all the while when I wasn’t reading it. The main characters were all realistic and easy to like and the villains were all suitably convincing – particularly the main perpetrator who really had me fooled with his artful misdirection!

As well as a cracking murder mystery, Canticle Creek is also an environmental story, one that looks specifically at the ever-present threat of bushfires and the catastrophic events that can unfold within minutes in an environment that is dry enough and hot enough. The sections specific to bushfire were incredibly well realised, I could envisage it all unfolding, minute by minute, and it was entirely frightening to contemplate.

There is a lot to like about this novel. The cover (such a stunning cover, I’d have it as a print on my wall), the storyline, the characters – particularly Jesse and Possum, the art, the nature, the respect it shows to the First Nations people of Central Australia; this really is a terrific novel, one that I can highly recommend.

☕☕☕☕+ 1/2

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Canticle Creek by Adrian Hyland

  1. I’ve read all of Adrian’s books, several of which are set in NT. He experienced the Kinglake area Victorian bushfires and has written a book about this (from the perspective of a local policeman I think) so I wasn’t surprised to see the bushfire theme in his latest book. Robert Kenny’s memoir of the same fires still haunts me, for example his boots melting. For mine, the other outstanding crime novel by an Australian in 2021 was Unforgiven by Sarah Barrie whose books are gripping.

    Liked by 1 person

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