24 January 2024

Review: LOWBRIDGE, Lucy Campbell

  • This edition from Ultimo Press
  • ISBN 9781761152061
  • Pub Date July 2023
  • Extent 384pp

Synopsis (Publisher)

Where everybody knows everyone, how can somebody just disappear?
A missing girl. Decades of silence. A secret too big to bury.

1987: It’s late summer and a time of change when 17-year-old Tess Dawes leaves the local shopping centre in the sleepy town of Lowbridge and is never seen again.
Tess’s unsolved disappearance is never far from the town’s memory. There’s those who grew up with Tess, and never left. And those who know more than they’re saying …
It just takes an outsider to ask the right questions.
2018: Katherine Ashworth, shattered by the death of her daughter, moves to her husband’s hometown. Searching for a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she joins the local historical society and becomes obsessed with the three-decades-old mystery.
As Katherine digs into that summer of 1987, she stumbles upon the trail of a second girl who vanished when no one cared enough to see what was happening in plain sight.
Her trail could lead right to Katherine’s door.
In a town simmering with divisions and a cast of unforgettable characters, Lowbridge is a heart-wrenching mystery about the girls who are lost, the ones who are mourned and those who are forgotten. 

My Take

Katherine Ashworth and her husband Jamie have moved back to the town where he grew up in rural New South Wales following the shattering death of their daughter. While Katherine finds it difficult to move on Jamie just seems to be able to put everything behind him, and they grow further and further apart. Katherine drinks and does little else until Jamie challenges her to find something to do.

But when Katherine joins the historical society and finds out about the disappearance of a school friend of Jamie's,Tess Dawes, 30 years earlier, he becomes reticent to talk about it, and she fears the worst.

A well constructed mystery which flits between the past and the present. The central characters are well drawn. The eventual resolution is a shock.

My rating: 4.5

Lucy Campbell has worked as a writer and sub-editor across magazines, newspapers and non-fiction books. Lowbridge is her first novel. She lives in Canberra with her husband and three children.

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