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Summary

The number one best selling 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.

©2018 Chris Hammer (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group

Critic reviews

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

"A heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful...Extraordinary." (AJ Finn)

What listeners say about Scrublands

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  • Overall
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Best in ages.

The best audiobook I have listened to in ages. Wonderfully performed and a wonderful story weaving in and out but masterfully written and eminently followable.
Really good to hear a book that isn’t at any point unnecessarily verbose. No sense of pages been filled and word counts been achieved by spurious flimflam. The text cuts like a knife, concise, clear and always to the point. Stimulating to the mind and the heart.

13 people found this helpful

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Gripping

This is an excellent story, twisting and turning. Like Jane Harper’s The Lost Man, you feel like you are in the Outback. Central character is flawed but realistically so.

11 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Superb

After just finishing the last of the C J Sansom 'Shardlake' series I was stuck for a new title. Took a gamble on this one. Not my usual kind of story and had never heard of this author.

What can I say? The story was magnificent and the narration was quite possibly the best I have come across.

Cannot recommend this enough!

9 people found this helpful

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Good writing, average story

Naming the lead female character Manderlay Blonde should have alerted me to the fact that the writer had no intention of creating well rounded female characters. Indeed, everyone in Scrublands reads like a cliche and the story itself is so conveniently convoluted it’s laughable at times. That said, I stuck with the book til the end as I wanted to know what really happened. Which is surely the mark of a decent yarn spinner?

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant brilliant BRILLIANT!!!!

One of if not best audio book of the many I’ve ever read. Thank you and write and read more!

3 people found this helpful

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Even Rupert Degas can’t save this one.

A book whose obtuse and over complicated plotting has to be repeatedly explained by the narrator can work if the plot makes sense and the characters act in a consistent and believable way. Unfortunately, in this case, attempts at coherence are undermined by unlikely coincidence after unlikely coincidence and clumsy “twists” which leave the listener rolling their eyes in frustration. Only a predictably brilliant performance by the reader prevent this being a complete waste of time.

2 people found this helpful

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Riveting

A cracking yarn. Excellent performance accentuating the author’s descriptive powers. Kept guessing right to the end.

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loved it

great story, fabulous narration. keeps you guessing and I couldn't figure it out until it was revealed. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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A must read

You will not be able to put this book down. The narration is without doubt the best I have listened to. Just try it

2 people found this helpful

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Superb

Started listening to this book on one of my sleepless nights hoping boredom would help me drop off, no such luck, every minute was superbly exciting and the readers voice was perfect

2 people found this helpful