25 November 2023

Review: TREASURE & DIRT, Chris Hammer

  • this edition read as an e-book on my Kindle (Amazon)
  • Imprint:Allen & UnwiN
  • Pub Date:30 Aug 2022
  • Page Extent:536

Synopsis (Publisher)

An unputdownable standalone thriller from the bestselling author of Scrublands.
In the desolate outback town of Finnigans Gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable young people and billionaires do as they please.

Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner's death is straightforward, not even who found the body. Sydney homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.

But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up and, if so, by whom?

As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more secrets they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, as events from years ago take on a startling new significance.

For in Finnigans Gap, opals, bodies and secrets don't stay buried forever. 

My Take

I have already reviewed this book, but have re-read it for a discussion with my U3A Crime Fiction readers group.

I must confess that I began reading it as a printed paperback but swapped over about halfway through to a copy that I already had on my Kindle.

Last time I wrote "A book with many themes, a very harsh environment, where the miners themselves struggle to make a living, and a virtual pageant of quirky characters." and I was struck again by the fact that, while there is the central plot of the crucified opal miner, there are a large number of mini plots.  It is also a novel where the Australian outback setting plays a strong role.

If you are looking for something that has strong Australian flavour, then this is it.

My rating: 4.7

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