10 January 2008

Adrian Hyland

Debut author Adrian Hyland topped the oz_mystery_readers 2007 best reads list with DIAMOND DOVE with 5 people recommending it. The group discussed it in September when Adrian was the group's guest on Quiz an Author, an event when an author is invited to be an online guest for a week, and questions and answers fly thick and fast. Fresh from being named the Ned Kelly best first fiction novel of the year winner at Melbourne Writers Festival, Adrian was frank and eloquent in his replies and has remained an active member of the list.
DIAMOND DOVE was given a rating of 5 by the members, a rare achievement in itself. The only other book to be given a rating of 5 was RAVEN BLACK by Ann Cleeves.

DIAMOND DOVE has been published in the US as MOONLIGHT DOWNS and will be discussed on another list I belong to, 4_Mystery_Addicts, at the beginning of March.

My review of DIAMOND DOVE:
Emily Tempest returns to Moonlight Downs, a scatter of corrugated iron hovels nine hours from Alice Springs out in the spinifex desert, 14 years after leaving to go to secondary school in Adelaide. The daughter of a local miner, Motor Jack, she is welcomed home by Lincoln Flinders, the head of the community. The Moonlight mob have only recently returned to their land themselves. The Moonlight mob are Emily's community by adoption - her mother was a Wantiya woman from the Gulf Country. Unmistakably aboriginal in appearance, Emily has not yet decided which world she belongs to - aboriginal or white. She meets up with Lincoln's daughter Hazel, her best friend in the past. The morning after Emily arrives, Lincoln is found dead, unmistakably murdered, and Emily finds it impossible to rest until she knows who killed him. Adrian Hyland's debut novel. Very polished writing and a feel of authenticity about the setting and customs. I came away feeling I had learnt quite a lot.


Maxine Clarke said...

Hello, I discovered your blog just now via Crime Down Under. I loved this book too -- have posted about your post (and my reviwew of it) here: http://petrona.typepad.com/petrona/2008/01/diamond-dove-to.html

I'll add your blog to my bloroll at Petrona and RSS reader-- I see from your blogroll that we share common interests!
best wishes

Kerrie said...

MOONLIGHT DOWNS reviewed by Sarah Weinman in the Baltimore Sun

If the long URL breaks use this http://tinyurl.com/2bc5lx

Kerrie said...

Adrian's been a-blogging.!
Look for
Rainbow Warriors
Campfire Tales, Take Two
How dare you, Mr. Hyland!
at http://blogs.slv.vic.gov.au/summer-read/

Kerrie said...

MOONLIGHT DOWNS makes the NY Times:
In the Australian outback, where Adrian Hyland has set his beguiling first mystery, MOONLIGHT DOWNS (Soho, $24), all the big mineral mines are on Aboriginal lands. But that doesn’t matter to a tribe that, thanks to a court decision, has recently returned to its remote homeland, where the people live as they always have — in eccentric simplicity. Only when their leader is murdered does it occur to someone that the tribe might own something of value. That wonderful someone is the novel’s narrator, Emily Tempest, a modern young woman who has gone through her “wandering years” and come home with both a fresh appreciation of her people’s cultural values and the generosity to share them with us.


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