15 December 2022

Review: THE TILT, Chris Hammer

  • This edition (trade paperback)  published by Allen & Unwin October 2022
  • ISBN:9781761067419
  • 496 pages
  • Awards: Longlisted, Best Fiction, Indie Book Awards, 2023, AU

Synopsis (publisher

A man runs for his life in a forest.

A woman plans sabotage.

A body is unearthed.

Newly-minted homicide detective Nell Buchanan returns to her home town, annoyed at being assigned a decades-old murder - a 'file and forget'.

But this is no ordinary cold case, as the discovery of more bodies triggers a chain of escalating events in the present day. As Nell starts to join the pieces together, she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her. Could her own family be implicated in the crimes?

The nearer Nell comes to uncovering the secrets of the past, the more dangerous the present becomes for her, as she battles shadowy assailants and sinister forces. Can she survive this harrowing investigation and what price will she have to pay for the truth?

Gripping and atmospheric, The Tilt is a stunning multi-layered novel by the acclaimed and award-winning author of the international bestsellers Scrublands, Silver, Trust and Treasure & Dirt.

My Take

From my point of view, this really is Chris Hammer's best novel so far. Multi-layered, it has a bit of everything: current political issues, current ecological issues, police procedural, cold cases, mystery, puzzles, linkings between the past and the present, history, and a family saga.

When you read this book, look for the geneaological table in the last pages of the book. I found this so useful that I photocopied it for quick reference.

The last thing that Nell Buchanan expects is for her family to be involved in the unknown skeleton unearthed near the river which is the cold case she is assigned to investigate.

The story also gives an overview of how Australia history from the First World War onwards has affected a small rural town.

I was interested too that some of the current issues that Hammer thinks are impacting on rural Australia coincide with those that Garry Disher referred to in DAY'S END which I read recently. 

And finally, for South Australian readers, you will learn more about the history of the River Murray, very relevant today with the current flooding of the river.

My rating: 4.8

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