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Robyn Ayres works as the camp caretaker on Finch Island, a former leper colony off the coast of Queensland. Her current clients are a group of ex-military men who run a tough-love program for troubled teens.
The latest crop looks like the usual mix of bad boys and sad boys. Then Robyn takes a second look at a kid called Darren. Last time she saw him his name was Aaron, and Robyn was his primary school teacher. And she was somehow at the centre of a vicious small-town custody battle involving his terrifying grandmother.
Bruising classroom dynamics, manipulative parents and carers and horrendous small-town politics form the backdrop to a nail-biting thriller in which the tensions of ten years ago start to play themselves out, building to a violent climax in the present day.
Robyn escaped the past once. Now it’s back—and this time there’s no way out.
‘[Jinks] is a masterful storyteller, able to easily carry the narrative exigences of plot and character regardless of genre…[she] knows how to dole out the tension, letting the suspense slacken and then ramping up the terror lest you become complacent for a few minutes.’
‘Cranking up the suspense with methodical focus, [Shelter is] a brutally effective potboiler.’