"Compelling...highly recommended."--Dervla McTiernan, author of THE RUIN
"Scrublands kidnapped me for 48 hours. I was hopelessly lost in the scorching Australian landscape, disoriented but completely immersed in the town and people of Riversend, as the heat crackled off the pages. I was devastated when it was time to go back to the real world. This book is a force of nature. A must-read for all crime fiction fans."--Sarah Bailey, author of THE DARK LAKE and INTO THE NIGHT
"An evocative and compelling page-turner, and a deft unravelling of small town secrets and the legacy of trauma, amid the suffocating heat of a drought-ravaged Australian scrub; I was hooked!"--Paul Howarth, author of ONLY KILLERS AND THIEVES
"A compulsively page-turning thriller where the parched interior looms as large as the characters."--The Guardian
"Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life ...that we need right now. In its concern with crime beyond the suburban fringe, it sits right up there with the late Peter Temple's Broken Shore, Garry Disher's Bitterwash Road and Jane Harper's The Dry, even as it extends their focus and reach."--Sydney Morning Herald
"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, international bestselling author of THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER
"As evocative and haunted as the American Southwest, Chris Hammer's Australian-set Scrublands is desolate, dangerous, and combustible. A complex novel powered by a cast of characters with motives and loyalties as ever-shifting as the dry riverbed beneath them, Hammer's story catches fire from the first page."--J. Todd Scott, author of THE FAR EMPTY and HIGH WHITE SUN
"A novel's opening moments are there to rivet readers' attention; this one begins with a dazzler. . . we're hooked."--Booklist
"Stellar. . . .Richly descriptive writing coupled with deeply developed characters, relentless pacing, and a bombshell-laden plot make this whodunit virtually impossible to put down."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
* * * 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.