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Emily Tempest has been away from Central Australia for a long time—uni, travel, dead-end jobs. Finding trouble all over the world. Now she’s back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, there’s trouble. An old friend brutally murdered and mutilated. An old enemy the only suspect. Until Emily starts asking questions.
Take a nail-biting mystery, an epic setting and a heroine with a talent for stirring thing up, then throw in an affectionate flogging of outback Australia’s melanoma-encrusted hide, and Diamond Dove may be the wittiest and most gripping Australian crime novel you’ll read this year.
‘Hyland spins an epic and ambitious mystery set against the vast backdrop of Central Australia where indigenous and white people live side by side in an uneasy truce.’
‘Diamond Dove is funny, absorbing, moving and a delicious shock to middle-class pedantries about race relations. And your Emily. Your Emily Tempest, sir, is one memorable young woman. Far more interesting to adult readers than Alexander McCall Smith’s young woman crime solver with whom, inevitably, she is going to be compared.’
‘Sometimes fictional characters seem to spring fully formed from their creators’ heads, and Adrian Hyland’s Emily Tempest is one of them…Hyland’s Diamond Dove is a whodunit, but its sparky irreverence lifts it out of the genre into a class of its own. Hyland has spent many years in the NT, and it shows in every sentence. Emily Tempest is a daring creation, with a foot in both black and white camps, and a hefty kick in each.’
‘As powerful as they are, words can barely describe the joy I felt on reading Adrian Hyland’s first novel….His decision to write from a young woman’s perspective is as interesting as it is successful and his grip on the narrative ensures a truly spectacular and fitting denouement. But it is the humour that sets this book and its characters above the ordinary…Emily Tempest may be a child of the dreaming, but she has Raymond Chandler eyes.’
‘Diamond Dove is a great fun read, a crime novel with a true larrikin spirit. That means it has real wit; dry, earthy and with no bullshit. Hyland has written the kind of book we need so much more of in this country. He quizzes the fraught, complex world of the outback with a critical eye but he also paints with rare clarity a picture of both black and white lives that is filled with compassion and affection. It’s invigorating.’
‘A riveting murder mystery of the best kind. The kind where the clues are subtle; the suspects and their motives manifold; and the words race across the page defeating even the speediest reader’s eyes. In a reviewer’s word: it’s unputdownable.’
‘Diamond Dove is a beautifully paced novel that blends the best of the crime genre—mystery, gore, multiple suspects—with a gentle yet incisive narrative about black–white relations, with each other and to the land.’
‘This is, if nothing else, a wonderfully original setting for a thriller. What unfolds is a brilliant portrait of different cultures attempting to coexist in a climate of ignorance, taboos, racism and greed. Emily’s investigations take her to the heart of the conflict and lead to a denouement as impressive for its elegance as for its tension. A startling, confident first novel.’
‘Emily has a fresh, laugh-out-loud-funny voice, a boulder-size chip on her shoulder, and an all-consuming loyalty to friends that inspires her to acts of reckless courage. All in all, the novel is a corker, engaging from page one and on through to an ending that pulls out all the stops.’