Review: Silver by Chris Hammer


Title: Silver {Martin Scarsden #2}

Author: Chris Hammer

Published: October 1st 2019, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read October 1st 2019, courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

Silver is the sequel to Chris Hammer’s superb debut Scrublands, featuring journalist Martin Scarsden.

“Port Silver, it’s ghosts sheltering from the iridescent sun, but awaiting him nevertheless. Port Silver. For pity’s sake, why had Mandy chosen this town, of all towns, his hometown, to restart their lives?”

With the shocking events in Riversend behind them, Martin and his girlfriend, Mandalay Blonde, have chosen to make a fresh start together in Port Silver, where Mandy has inherited a house and property. Delayed in joining her, Martin finally arrives in the small coastal town only to discover a dead man in the hallway of their rented townhouse, and Mandalay covered in blood. Martin is stunned when he recognises the victim, once a close childhood friend, and with Mandy a prime suspect in the murder, must use all of his investigative skill to unmask the real killer.

Silver offers a compelling and complex mystery. In order to prove Mandalay innocent of involvement in Jasper Speight’s death, Martin begins searching for a motive for his murder. It seems most likely that Jasper was targeted due to an ongoing battle over a multi-million dollar land development deal, but Martin is frustrated by his failure to put all the pieces together. Stymied by the possible significance of a postcard Jasper was clutching when he died, the decade old disappearance of a factory owner, and a backpacking Visa scam, it’s not until a second shocking crime, which leaves seven dead, that the secrets of Port Silver begin to unravel. Hammer skilfully manages the various threads, eventually drawing them together to reveal a stunning conspiracy of greed, corruption, and revenge.

Taking place over a period of week, the deaths draws familiar Scrublands characters to Port Silver, including Detective Inspector Morris Montifore, and later Martin’s former newspaper colleagues, Bethanie and Buzz, and television journalist Doug Thunkleton.

The events of Riversend still play on Martin’s mind, but in focus are the ghosts of his childhood spent in Port Silver. Haunted by the tragic death of his mother and sisters, and the descent of his father into an alcoholic depression, he’d left the town at eighteen for university and never planned to return. Hammer continues to develop Martin’s character as Martin confronts the traumatic memories, and while examining his past, he is forced to reconsider his future.

Masterfully evoking a sense of place, while providing the reader with a compelling drama, an intriguing mystery, and interesting characters, Silver is another brilliant crime novel from Chris Hammer. Despite its size I read it in one sitting, unwilling to put it down.


Available from Allen & Unwin

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

Also by Chris Hammer reviews at Book’d Out

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire Louisa
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 22:13:58

    I’ve had scrublands since it came out, I must get to it, this sounds fabulous



  2. alisbooks
    Oct 04, 2019 @ 03:36:19

    Great review! I don’t recall seeing this series before.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Amanda Barrett
    Oct 04, 2019 @ 08:08:34

    What a great review, I think I will take this one with me on holiday next week. I loved Scrublands.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. fuonlyknew
    Oct 05, 2019 @ 01:20:25

    This series sounds great and I’m adding it to my list!



  5. Helen Murdoch
    Oct 05, 2019 @ 01:42:48

    Sounds like a great series, with the second novel being even better than the first. I’ll add them to my TBR list.



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  7. sjhigbee
    Oct 07, 2019 @ 04:06:30

    Both sound like gripping murder mystery thrillers – glad you enjoyed them so much:)

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Jade @ Reading with Jade
    Oct 09, 2019 @ 07:06:22

    I really enjoyed Scrublands when I read it – I didn’t realise there was a sequel. You’ve spoken well of it! I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. Thanks for sharing & highlighting this title.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Dec 27, 2019 @ 14:56:01

    Ooh, great review Shelleyrae. I look forward to finding out what trouble Scarsden might get himself into next!

    Liked by 1 person


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