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Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words.
On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana.
In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms and (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress.
A few kilometres away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya’s unborn sister.
The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.
With On the Java Ridge Jock Serong, bestselling author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket, brings us a literary novel with the pace and tension of a political thriller—and some of the most compelling, heartstopping writing about the sea since Patrick O’Brian.
‘Jock Serong creates a sense of foreboding from the very start of his third novel, and then constantly ratchets up the tension with a keen sense of pacing.’
‘With this book, Serong cements his growing reputation as the thinking person’s adventure writer. On the Java Ridge is such a strong piece of writing on so many levels. Andrew Bolt would hate it!’
‘Beautifully written and acutely observed, The Rules of Backyard Cricket is a noir tour de force.’
‘Serong’s writing displays wit, insight and occasionally, splendour.’
‘Blow me down if I didn’t hang on every word.’
‘A compelling literary novel dissecting toxic sporting culture and its fallout.’
‘Expertly written, vast in scope…A compelling literary political thriller and a must-read commentary on the Australian political environment and its treatment of refugees.’
‘This is the mastery of Serong’s novel, understanding that fictional dystopias are at their most profound when they take the everyday and tilt it towards the darkness…it is a deeply considered novel that steers us to the logical conclusion of an entrenched system rooted equally in brutality and silence.’
‘You might want to clear the decks before you start Jock Serong’s third thriller, because the odds are you won’t be able to put it down.’
‘The best surf-related fiction I have read in a long, long time, possibly ever—Jock Serong’s riveting On the Java Ridge.’
‘The rescue and the scenes that follow it are the real heart of the book, and they are exceptional. Serong invests the chaos and confusion of the wreck and its bloody aftermath with a visceral power that makes for confronting but exhilarating reading.’
‘Taut and impressive.’