27 December 2015

Review: RUNNING AGAINST THE TIDE, Amanda Ortlepp

Synopsis (NetGalley)

Erin Travers is running away from her life and taking her two sons with her to a small town on the ruggedly beautiful Eyre Peninsula. The close-knit township is full of happy childhood memories for Erin, but the past never stays the same and she is bringing a whole lot of baggage with her.

When the peaceful community is disrupted by arson and theft, everyone has different ideas about who is responsible. In a small town where lives are tangled too closely together, old grudges flare, fingers are pointed and secrets are unmasked.

Brimming with malice and threat, Running Against the Tide is about long-held prejudices and fractured relationships, and cements Amanda Ortlepp as one of Australia's most compelling storytellers.

My Take

I'm in heaven. Another crime fiction title set in authentically in South Australia.
For most of this story you might think this book is on the very outer edge of the crime fiction genre, but its place is firmly established by the end.

Erin Travers takes her two sons away from Sydney and her abusive gambling addict husband to the fictitious town on Mallee Bay on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.  Her older son needs to find a job and teenaged Ryan will go to school. Ryan in particular finds the move away from his father hard and turns in on himself.

They move into a rented dilapidated weather board house next door to elderly oyster fisherman Jono and his wife Helen. Their friendship makes life bearable for Erin and through Helen she enters a painting in the local art competition, and Jono gives Mick some part time work on the oyster farm.

Then someone plants some iceberg roses in Erin's back yard and things take a slightly sinister turn. Oysters go missing from the oyster farm and Ryan has a tough time settling in at school.

Another very readable story, and South Australian readers will love the setting.

My rating: 4.4

About the author.
RUNNING AGAINST THE TIDE is Amanada Ortlepp's second novel.
Amanda Ortlepp is a marketing and communications professional who lives in Sydney. She was signed by Simon & Schuster Australia in a two-book deal. She lives in the Inner West of Sydney. Her first novel was CLAIMING NOAH.

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