Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Thrillers & True Crime, Crime & Thrillers
Paperback Published on: 11/07/2019
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Bookseller Reviews

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Heat, drought, murder...
The story is set in a small town which had been suffering dreadfully in an ongoing drought when events come to head with a tragic shooting. Shockingly, the... READ MORE
Jane Skudder
A brilliant addition to the growing drought-noir genre
Having loved the oppressive heat that emanated from the pages of Jane Harper’s The Dry, I had to try this prize winner set in another drought blighted Aust... READ MORE
Matt at Waterstones Online


Winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2019

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.

  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • ISBN: 9781472255143
  • Number of pages: 512
  • Weight: 350g
  • Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 38 mm

Customer Reviews

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Intelligently written and engaging
Journalist Martin Scarsden is sent to Riversend; a drought-ridden, dying town in the Australian outback. He's there to write an article on how the communit... READ MORE
Barnsey's Books
Another brilliant addition to the growing drought-noir genre
Having loved the oppressive heat that emanated from Jane Harper’s The Dry, I had to try this prize winning novel set in another drought blighted Australian... READ MORE
Matt at Waterstones Online
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
Scrublands was published by Wildfire Books in January 2019 and is the author’s debut. As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Scrublands call... READ MORE
A good debut,
I was looking forward to reading this book as it was recommended if you like The Dry by Jane Harper. Set in outback Australia in a place made up but the au... READ MORE
Jacqueline Sharp
an excellent work of Australian crime fiction
“It is, he knows full well, growing into a perfect summer story in the great tradition of Lindy Chamberlain and Schapelle Corby. A heady mixture of murder,... READ MORE
Marianne Vincent
Really enjoyed this, much more interesting than a previous Australian novel I read some time ago, great characters, great plot twists and holds your attent... READ MORE