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Blood Junction Hardcover – October, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892967706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,504,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Blood Junction" is two-thirds of an amazingly fine debut. The feel of the desolate, huge Outback is with us every page. Her sense of the country and the Aborigines is right up there with Bruce Chatwin's "Songlines." (yes, that good!). Ms. Carver's characterization of her lead character, India Kane, makes for fascinating reading. India is strong, mysterious, but beautifully flawed. And then there is the plot---to put it succinctly, it lacks continuity. After a fine, tightly written prologue, we are plunged into the main story line wondering what, if anything, the prologue was meant to foreshadow.
India Kane is to meet her best friend in the remote outback town of Cooinda. Her car breaks down, and she receives a lift from a kind young man to her destination boarding house. No friend greets her; she awakens the next morning only to be arrested by a policeman for the murder of the kind young man (who turns out to be a policeman) and her friend. This is a cop from hell, someone who would make the worst of the LAPD look like pussycats. That India has no motive and has never been in this town in her life doesn't seem to bother the detective in charge, nor is her lawyer too concerned with her rights. A kindly Aboriginal policeman protects and shelters her. He is a very well developed character who gets dropped inexplicably never to be heard from again. And so it goes. Sometimes, when I would turn a page, I was convinced I'd skipped a few pages (I had not) because there would be a great leap in time, action, and locale.
You think of Nevada Barr, who has her own problems with over busy plots, when you read some of Ms. Carver's excellent word pictures of the Outback. I do think most readers will enjoy this debut effort in spite of the non-structured plot. She clearly has verve, a sense of humor, and her own sometimes odd take on what makes a decent human being. I am looking forward to further outings with India Kane. 3-1/2 stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As "Blood Junction" begins, the reader experiences the tragic manner in which the area got its nickname.

In present day, India Kane travels to this outback area in Australia to meet her friend, Lauren, for a mini vacation.On the way, India's car breaks down in a desolate part of the desert and she finally gets a ride to town with Terence Dunn.

That night, she stays at a local ranch and in the morning, while having breakfast, the police storm in and arrest her for killing Dunn and her friend, Lauren.

The police attempt to coerce a confession from India through barbaric manners. However, India maintains her innocence and is finally permitted to leave the jail when an unknown person provides her bail. After that, India, former police officer, Mickey Johnson, and Det. Jeremy Whitelaw, an Aborigine, investigate the killings.

Through a complex plot and with many suspects, the story continues and the reader learns of a scheme to eliminate the Aborigine race. Although the idea is far fetched, the author gives the facts in such a manner that the scenario becomes believable.

The hunt for the killers is dramatic and suspenseful. We also learn a secret of why India was asked to come to this place by her friend. This secret centers on much of the story.

The plot is on the grand scale and is well done. The characters are memorable. Mickey Johnson is someone the reader would enjoy seeing in film and India is gutsy and determined. In addition, the author's description of the sparse Australian country and its people was picturesque and memorable.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book, especially for a first book. She has written books since this one and I would be inclined to read them when I come across them.

This is in the mystery, suspense area. She does a good job with the characters and the plot.

The plot is very comples for a first book and she is able to handle it well.

A good read.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
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Format: Kindle Edition
Carver deftly weaves Australian history and the plight of the Aborigines through a modern tale of murder, conspiracy and racism in this, her first novel.
India Kane is taking a vacation from her journalism job in London to return to her childhood home of Australia. She is meeting a friend who has uncovered some of India’s long-lost relatives. Just as she arrives in the remote outback town in which she is to meet her friend, she is suddenly arrested for murder. What she uncovers while investigating her friend’s death might get her killed as well.
It was difficult to connect with these characters in the beginning of the book. India can sometimes seem abrasive and caustic, snapping at people who are trying to help and not letting anyone get close to her, but we soon learn there are some good reasons for her to behave this way. Unfortunately, her investigative companion and possible love interest comes off as irritating and rude at first, which doesn’t help to hold the reader’s interest. Fortunately the plot is strong and fast-paced, keeping the reader interested despite the unsympathetic main characters.
By the end, the reader is deeply invested, particularly as India comes to explore her roots. In fact, I would have liked for more time to have been spent on that following the climax of the suspenseful storyline.
Still and all, this is a solid first effort from Carver, evidently well-researched and very well-written.
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