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Automaton Paperback – March 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


'This is an exemplary novel by a master of the craft.'
 - John L Work

'This is an exemplary novel by a master of the craft.' - John L Work, reviewer

From the Author

AUTOMATON was my first published novel and as such holds a special place in my heart. The idea for the story occurred to me when I was working in the Canberra court reporting service. I spent a lot of days in the Supreme Court watching and listening to criminals trials. What made the most impact on me was the lost look in first time offenders' and their families' eyes. Some cases were heart-rending.  AUTOMATON encapsulates some of those families hopes, fears and anguish.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: WoodsfortheTrees (March 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957976720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957976726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,747,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello, I'm Alana Woods ... the intrigue queen of thriller fiction.
I'm a storyteller from way back but not a prolific producer like other authors. It can take me years to be satisfied with the quality of a story and my telling of it.
The first three novels I wrote I wouldn't dream of inflicting on a discerning reading public, they were practice.
But my fourth and fifth--contemporary intrigue--I think you'll enjoy. AUTOMATON won the Fast Books Annual Prize for Best Australian Indie Fiction.
Please, please, leave reviews. Books need their readers' love. And without them we authors are working in a vacuum.
So what are my thrillers about? Here's a few lines about each:
Take a walk on the wild side with Noel Valentine, the troubled heroine of IMBROGLIO, as she saves an unconscious stranger from a burning car in far north tropical Queensland. Travel with her as the aftermath sees her embroiled in the murky world of criminals, spiralling her into what looks to be no way out from her own destruction.
Make the acquaintance of Elisabeth Sharman, senior Legal Aid solicitor, as she battles overwhelming odds to save a 19 year old amnesiac from being convicted of murder in AUTOMATON. She's a loyal friend once you gain her trust. Get to know Robert Murphy, her very perceptive instructing solicitor, who knows there's something deeply wrong with the way she's handling the case but who's willing to give her the benefit of the doubt because he likes her.
I've been promising a third thriller, DRAGLINE, would be published in 2015 but I've been sidetracked! I'm now working on a series that should start hitting the bookshelves in 2016. It's a thriller too, with the first book based on actual events: the robbery of my jewellery when I was in Italy for my daughter's wedding in July/August 2013. The story starts with that but then takes a leap into a world of possibilities!
Visit my website and send me an email. I'd love to hear from you. Let me know how you like my books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JOHN L WORK on May 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It's difficult to decide where to begin with Automaton. This is an exemplary novel by a master of the craft. Set in Australia, it is so deep, so well written, so intelligently thought out and flows so smoothly that I felt like a participant and personal observer within the events, rather than a reader who was sitting comfortably in my office as the story unfolded. Woods' experience as a Court reporter makes her tale as authentic, intriguing and interesting as any you'll ever read. It's not a quick, shallow read - it's a real novel.

A young man named Russell, who claims to have no recollection of the crime for which he is to be tried, stands accused of murder. He apparently has amnesia, the result of a brutal beating suffered shortly after the victim's death. Or does he? The government's case is overwhelmingly strong, replete with solid circumstantial, forensic, and eye-witness evidence. Russell is looking at some very serious prison time.

Enter Elisabeth Sharman, a beautiful, intelligent, rather pushy, aggressive, somewhat tactless barrister, the newcomer to the office by the way, who is assigned to defend the accused at trial. She encounters her senior instructing solicitor, the dashingly handsome, egotistical Rob Murphy, and some other office staff members who are less than receptive to her presence. And you know the sparks are going to fly, in several different directions.

The interactions among the various characters in the law office (it is a legal thriller, after all) are very true to life. I say that from having worked for nearly two years as an investigator with the Colorado Public Defender's Office.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Angie Russell on April 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book that has a great storyline, deep characters, action and intrigue, you need to read this. In Automation, the author draws the reader in with descriptions so vivid you feel as though you are living the book. The main characters are people to be discovered and delved into. And once you discover them, you realize that things aren't always as they seem. The twists and turns of this book keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Just when you think you have everything figured out, your heart and mind will be gripped by the unfolding of events. This is a book for the intellectual and the romantic. Automation gains my 5 stars and so does the author.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R.L. bailey on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

I love reading a great mystery. I love it even more if I can't figure it out by Chapter three. Well, Automaton, by Alana Woods has that and a whole lot more! Set in and around the courtrooms of Australia, Miss Woods takes the reader on a journey from a brutal murder, a defendant who can't remember a thing, (or can he?) to an end that you can't wait to get to!
The story centers around Russell, charged with a murder he can't remember. His lawyer, or as they say in Australia, his barrister, is a young cocky way too sure of herself woman by the name of Elizabeth. She's not the most tactful tool in the box, and soon has the entire office looking at her in disdain. Her boss, Robert, oh what a man he is. And modest as well. You just know that the tension between him and Elizabeth is going to be electric!
Elizabeth digs into the case, going all out in defense of her client, and incurs the wrath of any number of people who want to see Russell convicted of murder. Elizabeth believes in her client though and pushes through, sometimes at her own peril.
This is a good read. It kept my attention throughout, and even though I am an American, I could still understand the Aussie terms used in the book. My only complaint, like Miss Woods other book I read, Imbroglio, was too may second tier characters who take up too much of the story.

Book given to reviewer in exchange for fair and honest review.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By NicBakke on February 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The story and characters had my interest from the beginning and I found it difficult to put down. I read it in two days! You can tell that the author knows her stuff...the court scenes were riveting. I have lived in Canberra and really enjoyed reading about places that I was familiar with - it made me miss my old home town! This book is a 10 out of 10 and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great read.
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