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‘An effortlessly accomplished, astonishing debut set against the heat and isolation of the Australian outback.’

‘If you love Jane Harper’s books, you will love this even more. Compelling characters, an intriguing plot and so well written.’

WAKE is an incredible read: a hugely compelling mystery with a vivid rural Australia setting and fascinatingly damaged characters.’

‘One of the year’s best debuts. Intriguing and compelling. Shelley Burr is a bright new talent in Australian crime fiction.’

‘A nerve-jangling thriller with a brilliantly twisty plot, WAKE is also a haunting exploration of trauma in the age of celebrity victimhood. Shelley Burr’s true-to-life characters, beautifully evoked landscapes and breakneck pacing make for compulsive reading. A triumphant debut.’



The small town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of New South Wales. Once a thriving outback centre of stockyards and sheep stations, years of punishing drought have petrified the land. But it has another, more sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of young Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister.

Mina McCreery’s life has been defined by the intense public interest in her sister’s case, which is still a hot topic on social media and in true-crime chat rooms. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family’s sunbaked destocked sheep farm.

Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Before she died, Mina’s mother funded a million-dollar reward for anyone who could explain how Evelyn disappeared. Lane needs money to pay for his little sister’s university education, but he also has darker motivations for wanting to solve the case.

Compulsively readable, with an unforgettable setting and cast of characters, WAKE is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people’s private tragedies become public property, and how it’s never too late for the truth to set things right.


Shelley Burr grew up on Newcastle’s beaches and her grandparents’ farm in Glenrowan and on the road between the two. When not writing, she works in environmental policy in Canberra and is studying agriculture at the University of New England, with a focus on soil science. She is an alumnus of the ACT Writers Hardcopy program (2018) and a Varuna fellow. WAKE won the CWA Debut Dagger Award in 2019 and was shortlisted for the KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award and the Bath Novel Award.

‘I could feel the dry heat permeating through the page and was transported into the harsh rural landscape.’
Nicky Luckie, Sydney Account Manager

WAKE is something very special, not just a police procedural, not just a whodunnit to solve, but a brilliantly evoked novel of trauma and pain, and the lengths people will go to for closure.’
Louise Stark, CEO

‘Grief and guilt, secrets and lies all combine to make this a gripping debut that we are thrilled to publish. Bravo, Shelley!’
Fiona Hazard, Group Publishing Director

WAKE is incredibly polished, has an incredible hook and engaging characters. I simply needed to know what Lane witnessed nineteen years ago!’
Linda Bruce, Canberra Account Manager

‘Shelley kept me on my toes right to the finish.’
Sarah Brooks, Head of Contracts, Rights, Audio, International Sales

WAKE by Shelley Burr is a master work: it is atmospheric, authentic and natural, eerie and suspenseful but not manipulative, and beautifully plotted and genuinely shocking without being contrived.’
Emma Rafferty, Managing Editor

This week our sales team have been delivering advance limited-edition copies of WAKE. Help spread the word by posting a picture of you with your copy.

Make sure you tag @hachetteaus, @HachetteAustralia #WakeBook.

If you haven’t already received a proof, we have 5 to giveaway. Email with your details.




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Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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