The Great Divide (L J M Owen, Echo)
In her fourth novel, L J M Owen, author of the ‘Dr Pimms, Intermillenial Sleuth’ series, gives us Australian rural crime at its most atmospheric: mist-shrouded streets, ruined vineyards, an abandoned home for ‘bad girls’ and a list of vanished, untraceable children. Detective Jack Hunter is a fish out of water. A big city blow-in from the mainland, he has been transplanted to the small Tasmanian town of Dunton and finds himself on the wrong side the Great Divide—and the locals. Hamstrung by small-town politics, a distinct lack of resources, and thinly veiled prejudices and favouritism, he has his work cut out for him when first a young boy goes missing and then a body is found. Digging deeper into the past opens old wounds and before too long the victims start piling up. Moody and dark, gritty and gripping, The Great Divide is compulsive reading. Owen builds a rich yet bleak and ultimately devastating history for the people of Dunton. It’s a small town full of secrets and bodies—buried and not buried alike—and no-one can be ruled out as a suspect. This book is for fans of Candice Fox, Dervla McTiernan, Christian White and Alan Carter.
Kate Frawley is a bookseller at The Sun Bookshop