It's hard not to compare Chris Hammer's Scrublands to Jane Harper's acclaimed The Dry ... [It will] capture your imagination from the first page
Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life in Australia that we need right now ... It sits right up there with the late Peter Temple's Broken Shore, Garry Disher's Bitterwash Road and Jane Harper's The Dry, even as it extends their focus and reach ... Remarkable
Set in the parched Australian landscape, Scrublands is a brilliantly plotted thriller which reveals a town full of brooding secrets. I couldn't put this compelling debut down
A heatwave of a novel, scorching and powerful... Extraordinary
Scrublands kidnapped me for 48 hours. I was hopelessly lost in the scorching Australian landscape, disoriented but completely immersed in the town and people of Riversend, as the heat crackled off the pages. I was devastated when it was time to go back to the real world. This book is a force of nature. A must-read for all crime fiction fans
Brilliant and unsettling, Scrublands stands at the junction of Snowtown and Wake in Fright, that place where Australia's mirage of bush tranquillity evaporates into our hidden fears
A superbly drawn, utterly compelling evocation of a small town riven by a shocking crime
Hammer's portrait of a dying, drought-struck town numbed by a priest's unimaginable act of violence will capture you from the first explosive page and refuse to let go until the last. His remarkable writing takes you inside lives twisted by secrets festering beneath the melting heat of the inland, the scrub beyond waiting to burst into flame. Scrublands is the read of the year. Unforgettable
A compulsively page-turning thriller where the parched interior looms as large as the characters
My pick for debut thriller of the month (and maybe of 2019) ... Beautifully written, this would make a terrific small-screen series
Incendiary . . . A rattling good read, ambitious in scale and scope and delivering right up to the last, powerfully moving page
Well-rounded characters, masterful plotting and real breadth; this is an epic and immersive read
Extremely accomplished ... Deliciously noirish ... Set in the blistering heat of a remote Australian town ravaged by drought and threatened by bushfires, this is a complex, meaty, intelligent mystery ... Hammer's writing is so evocative the heat practically rises off the pages of Scrublands
Stunning ... Scrublands is that rare combination, a page-turner that stays long in the memory
An almost perfect crime novel ... Intelligent, thought-provoking, great narrative energy, a central character who's imperfect but self-aware, and of course that amazing setting ... I loved it'
A dark and brilliant thriller, one that lingers in the mind
Atmospheric, utterly gripping, and written with devastating beauty. Scrublands is as scorching as wildfire and as hard to look away from
Classic Hammer, with the heat and the small town obsession with secrecy and past grievances. A crime novel that will stay with me for a long time.
A complex, twisty thriller, with nuanced characters and a winding plot all set in the oppressive Australian heat.
A clever and compelling small town mystery, with an evocative setting and a brilliant cast of characters. This slice of Australian noir sparkles like an opal in the blistering sun.
Opal Country is a top-notch Aussie Noir with real heat coming off the pages.
A brilliantly atmospheric mystery.
This novel - tighter, tougher, tenser - is Hammer's best work yet.
Chris Hammer is regarded as one of Australia's best new noir crime writers, and this immersive and lyrically written thriller copper-fastens this well-deserved reputation.
Gold standard Outback noir [...] Chris Hammer's best writing to date.
Nobody does Australian outback crime better. Hammer nails it again.
Opal Country is richly rewarding. Hammer is quite brilliant.
A fast-paced and thrilling read.