Bereft

Chris Womersley, Author
Chris Womersley. Sterling/SilverOak, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4027-9813-9
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
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Set in 1919 Australia, Womersley’s moving second mystery chronicles the return of Sgt. Quinn Walker, fresh from the killings fields of France, to his hometown of Flint, New South Wales, whence he fled 10 years earlier under horrific circumstances. Back then, Quinn’s father found 16-year-old Quinn in an abandoned shed next to his raped and murdered 12-year-old sister, Sarah, clutching the bloody knife used to kill her. The older Walker drew the obvious conclusion, but Quinn was able to slip away without getting arrested. Quinn now hopes, even after so much time has passed, to identify the real culprit, but first he must persuade his mother of his innocence. Womersley, who won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Fiction for The Low Road (2007), uses lyrical language to enhance a familiar story (e.g., “he dug a hand into his tunic to touch his revolver as if it were a crucifix that, through his caresses, might alert God to his anxieties”). (July)
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