KYLE PERRY – The Bluffs
“Jasmine felt Madison squeeze her arm affectionately, and she turned with a smile, patted Madison’s leg, snuggled closer. I hate you so much bitch, she thought.”
Jasmine Murphy and her friends are about to embark on a year 10 camp into the mountains. The destination is the Great Western Tiers National Park in Northern Tasmania, place of legend and folklore of the infamous ‘Hungry Man disappearances’ of 5 girls in 1985.
The mystery of the folklore comes into the present day as they head off on the hiking trip… and out of it comes more questions, secrets, twisted relationships, hidden motives and betrayal than any ‘hungry man’ from the forest can poke a stick at.
Gripes: None, other than it finished! I noted with amusement some common small-town mystery character tropes… the out-of-town detective with a secret, the local drug-lord, corrupt cop, etc.
Pros: EVERYTHING ELSE! I’m calling this my book of the year so far. There is a particular eeriness about this novel that keeps the voyeuristic reader wanting to turn page after page despite the dark themes. After reading Christian White’s front cover review, the blurb, and then that Hungry Man poem, I was honestly shitting bricks, this former lover of ghost and horror movies now turned wimp after motherhood.
But this novel is so, so much more, thank God. Sure it’s crime, but it’s also YA, mystery, small-town secrets (oh the secrets!) and supernatural, with an amazing analysis of the small-town psyche and the various characters that present, entwined in a beautiful sadistic plot of BONE BROTH.
We witness the story unfold through many characters eyes, and this brings the plots and secrets forward to the point that it becomes physically impossible to put the book down. There are so many surprises and secrets all the way to the end, making it a simply brilliant work of fiction.
Note first impressions and initial words said – they provide clues. A great Shawshank feel in it too, for those who are fans of the redemption movie.
Also, sequel potential? I can’t wait!