Wimmera by Mark Brandi

Fab and Ben are best friends, living in a small rural town, Wimmera, Australia. This tightly written story pulsated with tension from start to finish. It’s written in two parts – the boys’ childhood and when they are adults. Brandi brilliantly captures the awkwardness, naivety, aspirations and loyalties of the two young boys – the threat of violence or mishap always seems just around the corner, and never mores than when a newcomer arrives on the scene. No spoilers here, but in the second part of the story, the reader gradually comes to understand what the ‘big secret is’, what has happened to the boys and just how they dealt with it.

I really enjoyed this novel – I enjoyed the fact that at times Brandi’s writing had me squirming! The writing is confronting, but compelling. Very deservedly, Brandi won the Crime Writers’ Association and Debut Dagger Award and was also Highly Commended in the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. I recommend and can’t wait to read The Rip!

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