Still by Matt Nable. (2021).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Darwin, 1963. An unforgiving town where secrets can kill and knowledge is deadly… when Senior Constable Ned sees a body in the shallow marshland he knows it is a bad death, but not that it was just the first. 23 year old Charlotte is an unhappy housewife to a cowboy and is suffocating in her life. On her way home one night she finds herself with a hand around her mouth. Both Charlotte and Ned will learn that the world they live in is full of secrets and it takes courage to fight for what is right. But there are people who will do anything to protect themselves and sometimes courage is not enough to keep you, or those you love, safe.
I have a lot of respect for Matt Nable as an actor and while this is his first book I’ve read, I have seen his movie 1% which he wrote as well as starred in. So I was looking forward to reading this, especially after also seeing consistently high reviews for this novel. It’s definitely a slow burner with high tension. There’s a lot of confronting issues at play in this story: corruption, racism, murders, violence, drunk and angry behaviours… you get the picture. I’ve seen this novel compared to Jane Harper’s ‘The Dry’ and Chris Hammer’s ‘Scrublands’; I would agree it has a familiar feel which I would put down to the descriptive writing, the slow pace, the crime in a regional Australian town and the intense characters. So overall, if what I’ve described sounds like your kind of novel, definitely give this one a go.