Review: Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland

Title: Gunshot Road {Emily Tempest #2}

Author: Adrian Hyland

Published: Text Publishing May 2010

Sypnosis: Emily Tempest. Small, black, snaky as a taipan’s tooth: the woman least likely to pursue a career in policing.  Now, somehow, Emily’s become the Aboriginal Community Police Offer for teh outback (not to mention throwback) town of Bluebush. Being allergic both to authority and to keeping her big mouth shut, she’s immediately at odds with her new boss. And a death at the Green Swamp Well Roadhouse just makes things worse. Officially it’s a simple case of two old drunks and a hammer.
Emily’s not convinced.

Status: Read from January 12 to 13, 2011

My Thoughts:

Having devoured Diamond Dove in a few hours I took a days break to finish another book before diving into Gunshot Road.
Emily Tempest has been recruited at a liason for the police force, an attempt perhaps to keep her impulsiveness in check, but it’s not long before she is in the middle of another murder. The cops, especially the buy-the-book Acting Seargent, are happy to treat it as an open and shut case yet Emily’s personal connection to the suspect and victim won’t let her accept the easy answer. Her own investigation starts to pull loose some tantalising threads but this time Emily can’t unravel the mess fast enough and pays a heavy price.
I have just finished posting a rather overlong and effusive review for the first Emily Tempest book, Diamond Dove and I feel I could do so here for Gunshot Road. Mostly for all the same reasons – the evocative and finely crafted writing, the fascinating characters and authentic Australian voice. This sequel however has a much darker and grittier edge than was present in the previous installment. Hyland delves deeper into the flaws of the community – the violence, poverty and lack of resources, but manages to not let it sink into the mire. There are wonderful flashes of humor, warmth and connection that humanises the people and the land.
Familiar characters return and new characters take on a role, Wishy the victim’s brother and his family, including the incorrigible Tiger Lily, and Danny the sensitive Aboriginal teen who unwittingly becomes a target of a murderer.
In some ways I think Gunshot Road is better that Diamond Dove particularly in terms of story, the plot is stronger and tighter. It has an emotional depth that is unflinchingly honest. The threads of the mystery are teased out and twined together to create tension that leads to an explosive confrontation.
I hope that Hyland may consider a third in this series though there was quite a gap (4 years or so) between these two. I highly recommend you read Diamond Dove before Gunshot Road though it isn’t strictly necessary, you will appreciate the background.

@ Goodreads

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday Jan 14th « book'd out
  2. bernadetteinoz
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 22:01:02

    So glad you enjoyed this one and its predecessor.

    Last time I heard anything about Adrian Hyland he was working on another book but not in this series, something to do with the bushfires in Victoria (he lives in the area that was subject to those horrid fires that cost so many lives a couple of years ago). No word on a third Emily Tempest novel but I’ll read whatever he writes 🙂



  3. Trackback: Review: If I Tell You…I’ll Have to Kill You Edited by Michael Robotham | book'd out

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