Review: SWEET ONE by Peter Docker

SweetOnePeterDocker23590_fTruth is not only stranger than fiction; it can be infinitely sadder too. The event depicted in this novel’s opening pages – in which an elderly Aboriginal man is cooked to death in the cargo hold of van while being transferred from one Western Australian town to another in police custody – is gruesome enough in the context of a work of fiction. But knowing that it is based on a real life – and death – experience that occurred in the very recent past makes the book a lot more visceral.

In the real world this incident resulted in official enquiries (because one is never enough) and a whole lot of people being shocked for a few moments before getting on with their lives. Helpless to know what to do even if they wanted to do something. Same as it ever was. In Docker’s thinly disguised version of Australia (Kalgoorlie is Baalboorlie for example) the incident results in a kind of civil war. Or what we would call a civil war if it was happening in some conveniently faraway place across an ocean or two. But one of the stories Australians like to tell about ourselves is that we don’t do that kind of thing here. We’re too laid back. We’d rather have a beer together than fight. We do mateship not war. There are entire school syllabuses devoted to this notion.

But in Docker’s Australia an Aboriginal man – an ex soldier just like the man who died in the van – starts taking revenge on the people responsible for the man’s horrendous death. Not just the two who drove the van but all the people who played a role in enabling the death. The one who thought it reasonable to imprison (rather than bail) a man just for being officially drunk. The one who decided not to get the air conditioning of the transport van fixed. And so on. He is joined by another former soldier, engaged in his own crusade, and they are aided by local Aboriginal people.

Trying to make sense of all this as it unfolds is a young female journalist. Izzy-from-the-Star as one of the locals calls her. She has been an embedded journalist in Afghanistan and wrote about another Aboriginal death at the hands of police in Palm Island. But as SWEET ONE unfolds the lines between reporting and participating blur for Izzy as she comes to know the locals and learn of her personal connection to them.

As one of the city-living, latte sipping southerners that various characters take pot-shots at throughout the SWEET ONE, I cannot really comment on this book’s authenticity with respect to the events it describes. Although they are taking place in the state next to mine they could just as easily be on Mars for all I know of the world being depicted. But I can attest to the sense of helplessness that underpins it. We’ve Brought Them Home, and Closed The Gap and said sorry and  had more than one Royal Commission into some aspect of Indigenous life – and death. And still we can bake an Aboriginal man to death in the back of a van in the name of law and order. In the 21st century.

Unlike all the official reports that governments have been issuing for decades – earnest and well-meaning though they may be – SWEET ONE grabs the reader’s attention on page one and doesn’t let up until the final word. Not just via the mounting body count (though it is constant and violent) but also in conveying how grim the situation is. For everyone. Black and white. Young and old. Male and Female. Police and civilian. It is (pardon my language) a fucking mess.

As well as telling a helluva yarn Docker writes beautifully. It’s almost like poetry at times. But not your grandmother’s poetry. Imagine the poetry that Mel Gibson’s character from the first Mad Max movie might have written between road races. Sharp and quick and brutal. And gorgeous.

It seems odd to say I loved this book but I did. Despite the fact it is confronting as all hell and does nothing to improve my sense of helplessness and guilt. But I have to believe that things can get better if we tell real stories about ourselves.Or at least I know things won’t get better unless we do tell real stories about ourselves. Even if it hurts. Like all great art SWEET ONE entertains, even nourishes in its way. But it also informs and makes you think. And squirm. As it should.


Publisher: Fremantle Press [2014]
ISBN: 9781922089755
Length: 316 pages
Format: paperback

Review: ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING, Evie Wyld

  • first published by Jonathan Cape 2013
  • this edition published by Random House Australia (Vintage) 2014
  • ISBN 978-1-74275-730-8
  • 229 pages
  • source: my local library

Synopsis (publisher)

Winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Award

Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods?

Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It’s just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Which is how she wanted it to be.
But something is coming for the sheep – every few nights it picks one off, leaves it in rags.

It could be anything. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumours of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is Jake’s unknown past, perhaps breaking into the present, a story hidden thousands of miles away and years ago,
in a landscape of different colour and sound, a story held in the scars that stripe her back.

Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of one how one woman’s present comes from a terrible past.
It is the second novel from the award-winning author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice.

My take

Strictly speaking Evie Wyld is not an Australian author, but she grew up in Australia, this novel has been published by Random House Australia, and part of the story is set in Australia. It is probably not really crime fiction, although crimes have been committed.

When Jake Whyte was a teenager in a remote Australian town she made a terrible mistake. That’s the reason she is now living on a remote English island about as far away from Australia as she can get. It is almost like voluntary exile, paying for something she can’t forget.

There are two stories in this novel and Jake is the joining point. The fascinating aspect is the way the novel is structured, but I’m going leave that for you to discover for yourself. The interleaving of the two stories is skilfully done, but the author does make the reader work hard, at least initially. The Australian part of the story is vivid and believable, while at the same time the remote English setting feels very authentic.

I can see why it won Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Award in 2014.
Check the judges’ notes here.

My rating: 4.9

About the author

Evie Wyld grew up in Australia and the UK. She now runs Review, a small independent bookshop in London. Her first novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 she was listed as one of the Culture Show’s Best New British Novelists. She was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2013 she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Evie’s second novel, All the Birds, Singing, was published in 2013. It was longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She is the winner of the 2013 Encore Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the 2014 Miles Franklin Award.

Awards
2014 University of Queensland Fiction Book Award – (Shortlisted);
2014 European Union Prize for Literature – (Winner);
2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards – (Shortlisted);
2014 Miles Franklin Award – (Winner);
2014 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize – (Winner);
2014 Encore Award – (Winner);

Review: FLASHPOINT by Felicity Young

This is 2008 review of a book called A CERTAIN MALICE that I originally posted to my other blog but I’m re-publishing it here and now because the book has been re-released in eBook format under a new title: FLASHPOINT. This is in preparation for its never before published sequel FLAREUP being published in February this year. That’s great news all round. Back in the day I used to give ratings out of 5 and this one scored a 4.5 so I’m keen for a sequel.


FlashpointYoungCam Fraser is a former National Crime Authority officer who, with his teenage daughter Ruby, has moved from Sydney to become Senior Sergeant in the Western Australian country town of his birth. Almost as soon as he arrives a building at a private girl’s school in the town is burned down and a body is discovered in the ashes. To investigate the crime Cam has help from a squad of rookies and one experienced officer who is the subject of a series of complaints. In addition both he and his daughter are still recovering from the tragedy that led to them leaving Sydney.

Fortunately for me this book was well worth the four months it took to track down a copy of it. The story is believable, has a well paced suspense and rates highly on my ‘readability’ scale which is a vague term I use to describe how interested I am in turning each page. I finished the whole thing in two sittings and I’m not even going to complain that one of those sittings kept me up until 2:00am on a school night. I simply had to know if my predictions for whodunit were accurate which is always a sign of a good read (for the record, they weren’t).

Although recognisably Australian in its setting and language the book achieves this state naturally. Sometimes with Australian books I cringe at the use of colloquialisms that would only be found in a Paul Hogan ad and never in real conversations. FLASHPOINT achieves its Australian sensibility beautifully and without appearing to try too hard.

I quickly became engaged by the protagonist and the minor characters, especially the troubled Ruby and rookie cop Leanne, who all seemed very credible. It was also interesting to see the sub-plot with Vince develop in a more realistic way than some of the ‘cops protect cops at all costs’ plots that have permeated crime fiction for years.

On top of all this the book is less than 300 pages, an increasingly rare occurrences in modern crime fiction so something to be treasured indeed.


Publisher: HarperCollins [this edition 2015, original edition 2005]
ISBN: 9781460706244
Length: 291 pages
Format: eBook
Creative Commons Licence
This work by http://fairdinkumcrime.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Review: GOOD MONEY by J.M. Green

GoodMoneyGreenI imagine it is pretty difficult to come up with a new angle from which to approach the crime genre. J.M. Green has achieved a genuinely refreshing take by introducing a social worker as the central protagonist in GOOD MONEY. Stella Hardy is forty-something, lives in Melbourne, works for WORMS, yearns for cheap wine and a good man and tries to do the right thing but doesn’t always succeed. In what I hope is the first of many appearances she is drawn into two investigations – the death of one of her young, migrant clients and the disappearance of a neighbour who was hiding some secrets – that lead her from the seedier parts of the city to, literally, the middle of nowhere.

Although there is much more besides it the element which established the book as realistic for me was the daft acronyms that the bureaucratic entities Stella deals with use. I’ve spent a good portion of my working life in similar surroundings to Stella and when, a few pages in, she heads off to her job at WORMS (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it stands for) I knew this was both a book I would ‘get’ and one I would believe. There’s an even more absurd (yet entirely credible) acronym further in. Delicious authenticity.

Stella is another strong factor in the credibility column. She is imperfect but not so dysfunctional that you wonder how she stays in a job let alone out of an institution where inhabitants are required to wear padded jackets that do up at the back. And none of her adventurous activities are so silly as to induce eye rolling. This might sound like a small thing but it isn’t. I’ve got a pile of books from this month alone that will remain forever unfinished because my eyes nearly rolled out of my head while reading them. I am well and truly done with authors who expect me to swallow the notion that the stupid things their characters do make them windswept and interesting. The minor characters here include Stella’s recently paroled brother, her policewoman best friend and an artistic love interest and all are engaging and help to give the book its natural feel.

At its core though GOOD MONEY is simply a great yarn, offering a mixture of humour, heart and action that should appeal to a wide audience. With its new migrant characters, drug dealing as an industry and mining executives behaving badly it is topical enough to be interesting but not so now as to ensure it is irretrievably dated within a few months. In short it’s a great read and if wishing can make it so the first of many tales featuring Stella Hardy.


aww-badge-2015This is the 18th novel I’ve read and 12th I’ve reviewed for this year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge. Check out my challenge progress and sign up for 2016’s challenge yourself. Next year there’ll be a bingo card to fill out should you wish to make your challenge participation a game


Publisher: Scribe [2015]
ISBN: 9781925106923
Length: 278 pages
Format: paperback
Creative Commons Licence
This work by http://fairdinkumcrime.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Review: GETTING WARMER, Alan Carter

My co-host Kerrie is currently sailing the oceans on long cruise from the US to Australia so I will post all her reviews of all the Aussie crime fiction she manages to consume while on her trip

  • GettingWarmerCarterkindle edition
  • published 2013, Fremantle Press
  • ISBN 9781922089205

Synopsis (Fremantle Press)

Cato Kwong is back. Back in Boom Town and back on a real case – the unsolved mystery of a missing fifteen-year-old girl.

But it’s midsummer in the city of millionaires and it’s not just the heat that stinks. A pig corpse, peppered with nails, is uncovered in a shallow grave and a body, with its throat cut, turns up in the local nightclub.

As a series of blunders by Cato’s colleague brings the squad under intense scrutiny, Cato’s own sympathy for a suspect threatens to derail his case and his career.

My Take

The “hook” in this novel is a Prologue describing a conversation between a serial killer and a female Psychology student who has a lot to learn about listening.

Cato Kwong has returned to Fremantle from the “stock squad”, but he knows it would be easy to put a foot wrong and be sent bush again. The novel opens with Cato accompanying a police squad and a murderer, presumably the one in the Prologue, to a desiccated lake, looking for a body. Gordon Francis Wellard is already serving a sentence for murder: they are looking for the body of a previous victim.

Corruption is rife in the police force particularly amongst detectives who are looking for the information that will give them the edge in a case. Deals done with criminals are often long lasting, and even the cleanest cops can find themselves doing something they know they shouldn’t.

This is #2 in Carter’s Cato Kwong series and he has fleshed out more background for Cato, and I think the novel is written in a grittier style. The new setting in Fremantle brings with it new characters, some of whom Cato has apparently worked with before, some he knows by reputation. Current social issues surface, such as territorial wars between bikie gangs, and Vietnamese protection gangs.

Cato’s family circumstances play a greater role too, and put the dangers of the sort of police work he does into greater perspective.

Carter’s first novel PRIME CUT won him a Ned Kelly Award for best first novel, and GETTING WARMER affirms that he is a writer to watch.

My Rating: 4.7

Review: ZERO AT THE BONE by David Whish-Wilson

Zero at the BoneDavid Whish-Wilson’s ZERO AT THE BONE captures the Windy City gangster era feel and brings it to boom town Perth at the height of mining’s golden age. Police are mob, yet few dare tread where the hardest criminals fail – for PI Frank Swann, his footprint leaves traces of the dead and imprints of a failed justice as he chases down a sinister scheme which all started when geologist, Max Henderson, allegedly committed suicide prompting his wife, Jennifer Henderson, to enlist his services.

The former detective still feels the pain and loss stemming from the events in LINE OF SIGHT, the predecessor to this novel. The strong sense of continuity is apparent with the protagonist referring back to the past events, with the present day plot (circa 1979) very much attributed to the earlier novel. For Swann, this case unearths a deeper plot and exposes the criminal element attached to the Rosa Gold stake.

Drug dealers, bad cops, bent bookies, jewel thief’s, and a widow’s questionable motive ensure ZERO AT THE BONE keeps reader’s guessing while providing plenty of criminal and good old fashion detective action.

Blue blood still runs rife within the veins of Swann with him coming across more cop than PI during the course of his investigation. I liked the balance in maintaining this persona from LINE OF SIGHT as it further built upon the Swann’s already well articulated passion for truth and justice. Yet what most impressed me about ZERO AT THE BONE was the long game of revenge which played out in surprising and shocking fashion.

ZERO AT THE BONE is a distinctly Australian yet all consuming crime fiction novel that grips the reader from page one and demands attention through to its violent conclusion.

When the smoke clears and the smell of cordite resonates in the air, the sticky blood red writing on the wall reads that David Whish-Wilson is a force to be reckoned with in crime fiction.

Review: GANGLAND NORTH SOUTH & WEST by James Morton and Susanna Lobez

Gangland North, South & West by James MortonI’m not familiar with the previous installments in the Gangland series, hence I had no preconceptions of what to expect style and content-wise going into this book. As a result, I was somewhat surprised to read the broad spanning accounts across a century or more of crimes committed in Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory were condensed into 190 pages.

Drug running, people trafficking, mafia allegations, hit men, prostitution, mass murder, serial killings, bank robbing, gold theft, biker warfare – every element of criminal activity is touched upon, accounted and glossed over. While interesting, the brief nature left me wanting more. That said, there is a lot to mull over in this book and the authors should be commended on their effort to encapsulate so much criminal diversity into a one stop quick reference guide of sorts.

It was interesting to read that not much has changed over the course of a century in terms of the types of crime committed and the manner by which the criminals themselves undertake their unlawful activity. Of particular interest to me was the notion of my hometown (Adelaide) being dubbed the ‘city of corpses’ as opposed to the more well known and less evil moniker ‘city of churches. It was a real eye opener that’s for sure. As of publication, Adelaide had the highest number of shootouts in the country for the 2013 calendar year with 18 as of March.

GANGLAND NORTH SOUTH & WEST works best as a gateway book into the historic criminal underworld of the more unassuming Australian states. The factoids wet my appetite for more and I’ll be chasing down some of the titles mentioned in the comprehensive selected bibliography.

Review: THE WILL OF THE TRIBE by Arthur Upfield

Canadian crime fiction fan and blogger Bill Selnes from Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan has been reading more Aussie crime fiction and has kindly allowed us to re-post his review here. It is interesting, and a little sad, to see that a book 50 years old is, in many ways, still relevant in that it explores the inequalities in the treatment of indigeneous Australians.

Napoleon “Bony” Bonaparte is in the remote reaches of northwest Australia in the vicinity of the Kimberley Mountains. He has been called to investigate the death of an unidentified white man found in the centre of Lucifer’s Couch, a crater formed from a meteorite crashing into the earth.

Unlike other Bony investigations the authorities are less interested in finding the killer than in determining how this man reached the area unnoticed. Thus the book is a most unusual twist on the locked room mystery. Here the body is found in the middle of a room consisting of thousands of square miles of territory. How did he get there? He had to travel hundreds of miles to reach the crater. A horse or a vehicle would have drawn attention. A plane would have had to fly from an airport. It is impossible to see a white man travelling the vast spaces on foot without ample supplies.

Bony settles in at the Deep Creek cattle station with Kurt and Rose Brentner and their two daughters, Hilda and Rosie. Among those working at the station are Tessa and Captain, members of the local aborigine tribe who have been educated and given responsible positions at the station.

The book, one of the last Bony books, is the most challenging of the Bony mysteries I have read because of its treatment of the Aboriginal characters.The white characters definitely consider themselves superior. While no longer acceptable by the early 1960’s, the book makes clear it was not long before that time that it was acceptable for a white man to thrash an aborigine he considered disobedient.

The attitudes, particularly of the white people, felt accurate to me. I can well remember as a child in Canada 50 years ago the way Indian people were generally looked down upon by white society.

The aborigines of the area are divided into three groups. The wild blacks are some distance away in the desert. The station blacks are dependent on the station while living in their own camp. The educated aborigines, Tessa and the Captain, live at the station.
It is an era of transition. The lifestyle of the wild blacks is gradually being eroded. Official Australia would like to see the aborigines assimilated into the white population. The same approach was in place in Canada at that time. For decades it was our Federal Government’s policy to assimilate the Indian peoples of Canada with white Canadians.

Yet the book is far subtler than the surface portrayal of white discrimination and condescension. Bony, half white and half aborigine, has strong opinions on such matters as inter-racial marriage, aborigine connections with tribe and education of aborigines. How should the aborigines adjust to the vast white population that has taken over their continent? Should they assimilate? Should they seek to remain distinct? I found myself thinking more about the questions of culture and race than the mystery.

While I became involved in the societal issues raised the book is focused on solving a “locked room” mystery. For the vast open spaces needed to create the “locked room” it could only have been set in Australia or Canada or Russia or Antarctica.

The book is tied to the countryside and the people of Australia. Bony makes good use of his tracking skill and ability to question white and aborigine witnesses.

It is a good mystery which left me thinking not only about the treatment of indigenous people 50 years ago but how the same issues are being addressed today.


At Bill’s original review you’ll find some photos of the remote area in which the book is set.

Review: Prime Cut by Alan Carter

Philip ‘Cato’ Kwong was once, literally, the poster boy for Western Australia’s police force. Of Chinese descent he represented a new kind of recruit and, for a while, he could do no wrong. But as this book opens he is disgraced, having been involved in a frame-up that was discovered. He has been assigned to one of the worst jobs in the force in hopes he will resign. But when a body, or part of one, washes up on shore in a small mining town six hundred kilometres south east of Perth, Cato has a second chance to prove that he is, or can be, a good cop after all. At the same a cold case that had its origins in northern England more than 30 years ago rears its very ugly head.

I’m normally a little kinder to debut novels than I am to the output of more seasoned writers but Alan Carter really doesn’t need my gentle handling: this is an exceptionally good novel. One of the many things about the book which have lingered in my mind since I finished it is its very strong sense of place. This comes across in a physical sense with the depiction of the geographic isolation of the area and the elements you might expect of a small, relatively isolated town even if you don’t specifically know Hopetoun. In addition to this though is a marvellously current sense of the social and economic impact of Australia’s mining boom. Because Cato’s investigation ultimately leads him to the new mines near Hopetoun we see the way that the new money both helps and hinders the town depending on your point of view (and your entrepreneurial abilities). While some people are making their fortunes others, often migrant workers brought in using special classes of visa, are exploited sometimes without even knowing it.

Another standout feature of the novel are the characters who are not always, or often even, likeable but they are believable and intriguing. Cato is a strong protagonist being far from perfect but not completely dysfunctional. At times I found his lack of willingness to take responsibility for his involvement with the frame-up that derailed his career annoying (I’m not alone, one of his colleagues did too) but it was a very realistic depiction. And because he didn’t wallow in self-pity most of the time I did enjoy getting to know him and was genuinely gripped by wanting to know if he would persevere or not. There’s a really strong ‘cast’ of supporting characters too including Stuart Miller, an ageing ex-cop from England whose inability to find the man who brutally murdered his wife and son as Sunderland beat Leeds in the FA Cup final in 1973 changed the course of his life. He gave up policing and migrated to Australia but never forgot this particular case and when he learns South Australian police are re-opening a case that involved an eerily similar murders a few years later he once again gives in to his obsession with the original murders. This strand of the novel unfolds parallel to the other thread though, as is the way of things in fiction, they meet up eventually.

Prime Cut does not wear its political heart on its sleeve but nevertheless deals with a range of ‘hot-button’ issues such as racism and police corruption in an intelligent, thoughtful way. I hate being preached at or told how to think by the fiction I read but I do enjoy seeing hard subjects depicted in a way that makes me pause and consider my own thoughts on the topic. Here for example I really did stop and think about the difficulties police must face every day when the ‘know’ a person is guilty but they don’t have the evidence that would ensure their conviction. What might make me cross the line from honest to…not? Is there room for grey? Other issues were tackled equally deftly, including the realistic depiction of the way indigenous communities interact with their physical environment. Carter has a light but direct touch which I really enjoyed.

The book is brim full of compelling characters, minor threads and major events that I haven’t had a chance to mention here but you can discover them all for yourselves if you track the book down as I strongly recommend you do.


Kerrie has already reviewed Prime Cut here at Fair Dinkum.

  • this book at Boomerang Books (Australian online store, does ship overseas)
  • this book at eBooks.com (in a range of formats)
  • this book on Kindle (I can’t tell if this is available to all geographical regions or not, sorry
Alan Carter was born and grew up in England and migrated to Australia in 1991, thereby continuing the fine tradition of people coming to live in Australia from far off places and writing brilliantly Australian crime stories (including Arthur Upfield, Peter Temple, David Owen and Sulari Gentill).
Alan is appearing at a local indie bookstore in a couple of weeks and your Fair Dinkum correspondents will both be attending. I wonder if authors get sick of being asked “when can I have the next book please?”
Alan will be touring four states starting 12 July as part of the Get Reading! programme.

my rating 4.5/5
Publisher Fremantle Press [2011]
ISBN 9781921696503
Length 316 pages
Format paperback
Source borrowed from a book club friend

CAKE IN THE HAT BOX, Arthur Upfield

This review was first posted on Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan and is reproduced here with kind permission from blogger Bill Selnes.

When in Launceston, Tasmania last year I was looking for Australian mysteries and came across the Pan paperback edition featuring a cover photo of James Laurenson from the “Boney” television series of the 1970’s. The story was written and takes place in the 1950’s.

            It is set in the wild and remote Kimberley ranges of northwestern Australia. Detective Inspector, Napoleon (“Bony”) Bonaparte, because of plane trouble is forced to stay in Agar’s Lagoon. While there the local police officer, Constable Stenhouse, is found murdered and his aborigine tracker, Jackie Musgrave, is missing and presumed to be the killer.

            The investigation takes Bony into the rugged lands of the ranges talking to the widely scattered families on their stations. It takes tough men and women to survive in this country.

            It is a rare man who is not a hard drinker. The town is noted for being surrounded by a ring of empty liquor and beer bottles. Too expensive to return they are dumped.

            Bony is an anomaly in the Australia of the 1950’s. Half aborigine he has gained a position of importance and respect in the white world. In the northwest Australia of that time the aborigines are divided between the station blacks (workers and servants for the white settlers) and the wild blacks (still existing off the land).

            While the whites use radio transmitters the blacks take to the air with smoke signals that efficiently communicate messages between camps.

            As Bony investigates he becomes aware there is a parallel black investigation taking place. It was fascinating to read of the black justice system.

            Travel is slow and difficult. There could not have been a greater contrast with Mission to Chara. Bony averages 3-10 mph with stops for tea and conversation. There is a measured pace to the investigation. In Mission Colonel Phinney was traveling over 2,500 mph with decisions being made in seconds. There is less time for reflection in the 21st Century.

            It was an excellent story with a murder and solution rooted in the land of northwest Australia. In contrast to the stretched out novels of our age the book was 175 pages. I am going to search out more Bony stories. (Mar. 2/11)

****

WHILE APPRECIATING COMMENTS FROM ALL VISITORS I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IN COMMENTS FROM AUSTRALIAN VISITORS ON THE BONY BOOKS 50 TO 80 YEARS AFTER BEING WRITTEN AND THE T.V. SERIES CLOSE TO 40 YEARS AFTER THE SHOWS WERE TELEVISED.

You might like to visit Bill’s blog to leave a comment on his original post, but also feel free to leave it here.