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Emily Tempest is small, black, as snaky as a taipan’s tooth and is the woman least likely ever to embark on a career in policing. But her old mate Superintendent Tom MacGillivray has persuaded her to sign on as the Aboriginal Community Police Officer for the outback (not to mention throwback) township of Bluebush.
Then Tom is hospitalised and Emily finds herself working for a new bloke instead: an east-coast ring-in, a martinet called Cockburn. Being allergic both to authority and to keeping her big mouth shut, Emily is immediately at odds with the new boss. And the death at the Green Swamp Well Roadhouse only complicates things. Cockburn thinks it’s a simple case of two old drunks and a hammer. Emily’s not convinced.
Adrian Hyland takes us to the outback—a place we think we know, and have mostly never seen. Introducing us to the people who belong there—a different people, as wise, foolish and fallible as the rest of us. And spinning for us a veil of wit and lyrical beauty through which we can see them truly.
‘Gunshot Road is a cracking read, the Territory provides a stunning backdrop, and the maverick cop is artfully reincarnated.’
‘Gunshot Road is a hugely entertaining geological crime thriller…laconic warmth mixed with the old school wiseass of Raymond Chandler or George Pelecanos. The plot wraps up tighter than a goanna’s arsehole (so to speak). What lingers, though, is not the dizzying denouement, whose explosions and fireball four-wheel-drives are going to be a story-boarding nightmare for whichever film company snaps up the rights, but an indelible portrait of the community that goes on afterwards: unsolved, a bit ragged, unforgettable there.’
‘A refreshing and colourful picture of the social and environmental landscapes of the far north. Hyland’s perky and distinctive and atmospheric as he conjures the bush, the mythologies, the dreamings and milieu of Aboriginal life and the travails of existence in an isolated town.’
‘His love for the landscape, empathy for the people and deep respect for their culture permeate this book. The prose is full of vitality but can also be lyrically evocative and moving.’
‘A fast and funny thrill ride from an indigenous point of view, Gunshot Road is entertaining and enlightening.’ 4 stars.
‘The follow-up to Diamond Dove, this book brings back the glorious Emily Tempest…By going where few dare to tread, Hyland has created brilliant characters and a funny, sometimes touching and always honest novel. There should be more Emily Tempest books, just to show that issues shouldn’t scare you.’