From Publishers Weekly
This award-winning debut (Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger) flings journalist India Kane into a nightmarish adventure of close calls and surprising escapes. India (yes, sometimes people call her "Indi") travels to the remote Australian bush town of Cooinda (aka Blood Junction) to visit best friend and fellow journalist Lauren Kennedy. Instead of meeting her friend, India finds herself with a broken-down car, a busted alibi and a mob of town folk ready to hang a murder charge on her. In 1952, machete-wielding men massacred an Aboriginal family. What's the connection between this crime and Lauren's murder? Carver isn't afraid to take chances as she pushes the limits of credulity by dropping India into a situation where all the odds are against her and she must find allies and answers in the most unlikely places. Allies like Polly, a shy, sly Aboriginal girl or the unknown, unseen benefactor who takes India's part on occasion. Our heroine must not only use her journalistic training and instincts to uncover the evil secrets hidden in Cooinda but also draw on all her inner strength and survival skills. Carver wrings plenty of suspense, even terror, out of India's predicaments without ever resorting to the "buckets of blood" approach. The author vividly renders the harsh Australian outback and candidly and effectively presents Australia's shameful treatment of "Abos" (Aboriginals). This exceptional first mystery should find as eager an audience here as it did across the seas. Agent, Elizabeth Wright. (Sept. 24) Forecast: A British native who spent 10 years in Australia, Carver completed the London to Cape Town 4x4 Adventure Drive in 1998. Her unusual background would make her a natural for the talk-show circuit.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In her stunning debut, Carver depicts the Australian outback with a precision reminiscent of Nevada Barr, while her characterizations and plotting echo Denise Mina's gritty Glasgow series. This taut thriller opens with the deadly massacre of an Aboriginal family, which took place almost 50 years ago in the town of Cooinda, earning it the nickname "Blood Junction." A half-century later, journalist India Kane is drawn to the town with the promise of information about her own past. What she gets instead is jail time, having been arrested for a double murder. India knows no one and must rely on strangers in her efforts to figure out the connections among the murders, the lost generation of Aborigines, and her own tangled history. Though the novel is set in present-day Australia, the author deftly evokes the claustrophobic feeling of a 19th-century Western frontier town, with no way out for India. This winner of the Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award is highly recommended for all public libraries. Jane Jorgenson, Alicia Ashman Lib., Madison, WI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.