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Dead Man's Creek: A darkly atmospheric, simmering crime thriller spanning generations (Detective Nell Buchanan)

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A complex, twisty thriller, with nuanced characters and a winding plot all set in the oppressive Australian heat.’ Lisa Hall As the investigation proceeds and more facts regarding the remains become known we also start to learn more about Nell’s family, particularly her mother and her grandfather whose own stories are told in separate, alternating chapters. Nell will get around to visiting her family in due course and strands will start to form an overall picture but it’ll take some time. In the meantime, we’re left to sift through what feels like a fascinating but impenetrable series of discoveries and accounts of past events. The Tilt is an intricately plotted and exceptional novel. I think Chris Hammer is not only the prime author of Aussie mysteries but ranks with the top thriller writers anywhere. His plots are tightly woven and complex, with well-defined and memorable characters. In Tilt, there are deeply buried secrets involving complicated and tangled family connections and crimes long covered up. Cold case crimes are being investigated in modern times. These crimes still reverberate in the present day. Dead Man’s Creek is a brilliant read full of twists, turns and red herrings, and I was gripped from start to finish.

This is a multi-layered crime novel from three different time periods. The threads are cleverly woven together, revealing hidden family secrets. In 1943, we meet a young boy, Jimmy. He herds cattle near the forests. His father is fighting in New Guinea. Jimmy and a friend plan to gather crawfish (yabbies).A complex, twisty thriller, with nuanced characters and a winding plot all set in the oppressive Australian heat.' Lisa Hall The book is well-written, detailed and the characterisation is spot on. There are a lot of characters and for the first few chapters I did have to keep recapping to remind myself who they all were — each character has their own distinct voice, so it didn’t take me long to get a grip on them all. Nell Buchanan, who we met in Hammer’s last book Opal Country has been promoted to Homicide Detective and has been posted to this remote part of the state to partner up with Ivan Lucic (another name that’ll be familiar to readers of the author’s earlier books). The first case she’s asked to investigate is that of human remains found close to a small dam on the Murray River, the remains turning out to have been there for many years. So a stone cold case with no leads, hardly the exciting first case she’d hoped for. But a small consolation – or perhaps not, judging by her initial reaction – is that this is the precise area where she was brought up and in which the vast majority of her family still live.

Chris Hammer is at the height of his power here. Dead Man’s Creek is a superb piece of storytelling’– William Shaw But this is no ordinary cold case, as the discovery of more bodies triggers a chain of escalating events in the present day. As Nell starts to join the pieces together, she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her. Could her own family be implicated in the crimes? They intend to sell them to raise money for their families at a POW camp in the nearby forest. The prisoners are captured Italian soldiers and are guarded by members of the Australian military. We meet a vile and vicious Aussie officer and guard, and also a soldier wounded in New Guinea who lost an eye along with other injuries. An Italian POW commits an act of heroism. The two guards disappear and are thought to have gone AWOL after stealing army money. Chris Hammer, take a bow. This is why I love Australian crime fiction so much. This book is incredible, it really is. I do not know where to even begin describing this book. The minute it landed on my doorstep, I started. Chris Hammer is one of my favourite Australian crime writers, and I am in awe of how he manages to write. Once again with The Tilt, we have vivid descriptions of the landscape, and it plays such a massive part of this story. Australia is a country like no other. Our climate and our terrain are unforgiving and is perfect for this genre. So many places to hide a body!

Gripping and atmospheric, Dead Man's Creek is a stunning multi-layered thriller from Chris Hammer, the award-winning author of Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year Scrublands (2019) and Times Crime Book of the Month Opal Country (January 2022). Tulong may be a small town where everyone knows each other but small town secrets can be buried for decades. From 1st July 2021, VAT will be applicable to those EU countries where VAT is applied to books - this additional charge will be collected by Fed Ex (or the Royal Mail) at the time of delivery. Shipments to the USA & Canada: Chris Hammer is at the height of his power here. Dead Man's Creek is a superb piece of storytelling' - William Shaw A commanding, consuming and outright thrilling mystery. Chris Hammer's first-class series goes from strength to strength.' - Chris Whitaker

The Tilt is the second stunning crime fiction novel from bestselling author Chris Hammer to feature Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic and Detective Constable Nell (Narelle) Buchanan, who were introduced in Treasure and Dirt (Opal Country). Each of the three storylines make up crucial parts of the mysteries contained within the town and its surroundings. The process of skipping from one timeline to the other works very effectively and has the effect of speeding the story along rather than slowing it down. Gripping and atmospheric, Dead Man’s Creek is a stunning multi-layered thriller from Chris Hammer, the award-winning author of Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year Scrublands (2019) and Times Crime Book of the Month Opal Country (January 2022). I must be getting used to narrator, Dorje Swallow, as I found his narration much smoother than previously.Whilst there are many characters, they are well developed, the plot is cleverly complex yet easy to follow. There’s mystery, surprising twists and an excellent conclusion. Utterly brilliant, a darkly simmering mystery .' - Dervla McTiernan, bestselling author of The Ruin This is my first Chris Hammer novel and definitely won’t be my last as I’ve just got one word to sum up his writing abilities and that is talent. For a start, he absolutely transports me to Australia (I wish) as it oozes Aussie atmosphere, there are some superbly evocative descriptions of the locations especially the river and the surrounding forest but also the wildlife. In a country where the most exciting thing to cross the road is either a pheasant, a hedgehog or the occasional fox or deer that stand more chance of survival than the first two, I revel in what car headlights reveal to Nell!!!

Nell knows she must question family members who may have knowledge of past crimes and murders but feels uncomfortable doing so. A nearby campground has a mixed clientele of birdwatchers, conspiracy theorists including QAnon members, potential urban terrorists, anti-vaxxers, and rumours of the presence of the Mafia.

Hammer successful jumps from time period to time period. He has again done the research to give authenticity to his writing. From my clear knowledge of the 1970s he is accurate in his description of the arts and culture at that time. The music, musicians, films and politics are all accurately placed in the story. Having been born in 1960 he would have been 12 years when this part of the story is set, again he must have relied on extensive research. The authenticity of the story impressed me. It has taken me much too long to have finally read a book by this author, and what a writer he is. Recommended highly by my father who loves good quality Aussie fiction, I knew I needed to get to it. I found the audio, grabbed the physical book to assist with the map which he mentioned as a must, and off I went. In present-day Dubbo, Detective Nell Buchanan and DS Ivan Lucic are summoned to headquarters. They concluded a successful criminal investigation in the previous book, and Ivan gave her major credit. To Nell, who learns she has been promoted to Homicide Detective, this is the fulfillment of her dreams. Ivan is suspected of leaking information to a Sydney reporter but is considered too valuable and skillful to be fired. He is assigned to head a rural homicide unit based in Dubbo. He considers this a demotion as he longed to return to the Sydney police force. A skeleton in the bottom of the regulator. All this time. I couldn’t believe it when I read about it. A skeleton. Who could have known that?”

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