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For half a lifetime, journalist Martin Scarsden has run from his past. But now there is no escaping.




He'd vowed never to return to his hometown, Port Silver, and its traumatic memories. But now his new partner, Mandy Blonde, has inherited an old house in the seaside town and Martin knows their chance of a new life together won't come again.

Martin arrives to find his best friend from school days has been brutally murdered, and Mandy is the chief suspect. With the police curiously reluctant to pursue other suspects, Martin goes searching for the killer. And finds the past waiting for him.

He's making little progress when a terrible new crime starts to reveal the truth. The media descend on Port Silver, attracted by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity and religion. Once again, Martin finds himself in the front line of reporting.

Yet the demands of deadlines and his desire to clear Mandy are not enough: the past is ever present.


An enthralling and propulsive thriller from the acclaimed and bestselling author of Scrublands.




'Chris Hammer is a great writer - a leader in Australian noir.' Michael Connelly

'I think this is even better than the first.' Ann Cleeves

'The best Australian crime novel since Peter Temple's The Broken Shore.' The Times

About The Author

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Chris Hammer is a leading Australian author of crime fiction. His first book, Scrublands, was an instant bestseller when it was published in mid-2018. It won the prestigious UK Crime Writers Association John Creasy Award for a debut crime novel in 2019 and was shortlisted for various awards in Australia and the United States.

Scrublands
has been sold into translation in several foreign languages and is being developed for television. His follow up books - Silver (2019), Trust (2020) and Treasure & Dirt (2021) - are also bestsellers and all have been shortlisted for major literary prizes.

Before turning to fiction, Chris was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. He reported from more than 30 countries on six continents with SBS TV, while in Canberra, roles included chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, senior writer for The Age and Online Political Editor for Fairfax.

Chris has also written two non-fiction books The River (2010) and The Coast (2012). He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University and a master's degree in international relations from the Australian National University.

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