Having just read and loved Scrublands, I was delighted to discover a sequel has just been published. Once again, we follow Martin Scarsden, just a few weeks after the events of Scrublands. He’s just been away in the city writing a true-crime book that summarises the events of that earlier title.
Now he’s somehow ended up back in the town where he was brought up, where his partner has ended up being accused of murder. Scarsden needs to clear her name, and in doing so, try to work out what exactly has been going on.
As is the way with these things, there are a lot of issues running behind the scenes. Port Silver as a town is struggling – while other towns along the same coast have seen new wealth come in as they’re developed for tourists and rich cityfolk. (It’s not lost on me that the fictional Port Silver is in roughly the same locale as some real towns that have been suffering enormously with the bushfires).
The tale includes backpackers, property developers, drug dealers and a strange retreat place. My only real criticism is that there are a few too many people linked in the end. That’s of course true of many crime novels. And the plot is intricate enough and compelling to keep you page turning!