ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Ivan Lucic is rather surprisingly for a Sydney detective of his seniority, sent to investigate a murder in the opal mining town of Finnigans Gap. A miner was found crucified in his underground claim, but nothing is as straightforward as it seems. The town is verging on the edge of lawlessness, the young local policewoman charged with investigating the crime is out of her depth in more ways than one, there's a rather sinister messianic sect on the outskirts, and there is a billionaire mining magnate sniffing around. Lucic is hiding a few secrets himself… Another wonderfully convoluted and satisfying rural noir novel from Hammer, with a cast of colourful characters, moral dilemmas and twisty plotting. This is a standalone (though who knows? Maybe Lucic will turn up again, he certainly has more stories in him!) I think Hammer just gets better and better with each book he writes... Lindy
Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. For many years he was a roving foreign correspondent for SBS TV's flagship current affairs program Dateline. He has reported from more than thirty countries on six continents. In Canberra, roles included chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, current affairs correspondent for SBS TV and a senior political journalist for The Age. His first book, The River, published in 2010 to critical acclaim, was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award and the Manning Clark House National Cultural Award. Scrublands, his first novel, was published in 2018 and was shortlisted for Best Debut Fiction at the Indie Book Awards, shortlisted for Best General Fiction at the Australian Book Industry Awards, shortlisted for the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and won the UK Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Debut Dagger Award. Silver was published in 2019 and was shortlisted for Best General Fiction at the Australian Book Industry Awards, shortlisted for the 2020 ABA Booksellers' Choice Book of the Year Award, and longlisted for the UK Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Trust was published in 2020 and was longlisted for Best General Fiction at the Australian Book Industry Awards. Chris has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University and a master's degree in international relations from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra with his wife, Dr Tomoko Akami. The couple have two children.