*** THE AUSTRALIAN TOP TEN BESTSELLING CRIME NOVEL***
‘A taut, beautifully observed slow-burner with an explosive finish.’ PETER MAY
‘Original, compelling and highly recommended. S. R. White is the real deal.’ CHRIS HAMMER
‘A fascinating case’SUNDAY TIMES CRIME CLUB PICK
After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier.
But where has he been? Why won’t he talk? And exactly how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence to prove his guilt, Dana faces a desperate race against time to persuade him to speak. But as each interview spirals with fevered intensity, Dana must reckon with her own traumatic past to reveal the shocking truth . . .
Compulsive, atmospheric and stunningly accomplished, HERMIT introduces a thrilling new voice in Australian crime fiction, perfect for fans of Jane Harper and Chris Hammer.
Set in the badlands of Australia, Hermit opens with news of shop owner Lou Cassavette’s brutal stabbing. The local constabulary believe the man they discover on the scene right alongside the body is their man – a man named Nathan Whittler.
It’s now cue for Detective Dana Russo to be called in to work in order to interview Nathan. They only have a limited time to get him to concede that he’s culpable of this homicide; and the clock is ticking . Our suspect, Nathan turns out to be more than somewhat inscrutable – he’s a hermit who lives off grid and due to that, keeping his lips clamped firmly shut is second nature to him and it seems to Dana and the team that he won’t be spilling his soul any time soon…
Dana is under pressure to crack this suspect before it’s time to release him and she will not be content until she’s laid a trail of breadcrumbs that will tie this taciturn enigma in knots. The tension at his point is incredible – we are totally in the moment with Detective Russo as she attempts to solve this riddle and work out whether the reluctance to speak is due to his solitary lifestyle – or a mask concealing a dangerous and unpredictable killer.
The characters of Dana and Nathan quite simply make this book. They are both complicated and interesting characters that subvert your expectations as you read. I hate spoilers but I will say that the start of the novel had me with my heart in my mouth – and perhaps not for the reasons you might think in a read like this. Even though they sit on opposite sides of the interrogation suite there are definitely strong parallels between these two people who don’t like to let people too close – both literally and metaphorically in Nathan’s case. . .
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy the psychological aspects of the crime genre and who get under the skin of the characters they are presented with and imagine them existing outwith the boundaries of the story. – I can imagine it on the big screen as an amazing two-hander and have thought about casting it, in my mind’s eye since finishing it. I really recommend this book as something pretty different and it really is a case of DO judge a book by the cover as once it dropped through my letterbox, I couldn’t wait to start reading it, as it is just as beautifully crafted inside as its stunning cover suggests.
Buy yourself a copy here and see if you can join Dana in trying to solve this intriguing case
Thanks to Emily Patience from Headline for inviting me onto the tour and introducing me to another great voice in fiction. Feeling absolutely spoiled for choice with all these amazing September reads!
Writer On The Shelf
S.R. White worked for a UK police force for twelve years, before returning to academic life and taking an MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.
He now lives in Queensland, Australia.
A taut, beautifully observed slow-burner with an explosive finish. — Peter May
Original, compelling and highly recommended. S. R. White is the real deal. — Chris Hammer