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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925184457
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Book Review: Under the Midnight Sky by Anna Romer - Reviewed by CloggieA (16 Mar 2019)
4.5?s Under The Midnight Sky is the fourth novel by Australian author, Anna Romer. Journalist Abby Barton runs every day, through the Deepwater Gorge Reserve, searching. She’s determined to find some clue to the horror she endured twenty years earlier, and to the abduction of her good friend. She’s passionate about warning teenaged girls of the danger, even though the man who abducted her is in jail.
When she stumbles on a young girl, unconscious, in a clearing, she hurries to summon help, but the girl has disappeared before the ambulance arrives. It just strengthens her resolve to publish her cautionary article. But her editor at the Gundara Express insists that she first get a tell-all interview with reclusive author, Tom Gabriel, whose novels based on true crime are best-sellers.
Tom has bought Ravensong, right there on the edge of Deepwater Gorge, but the book he’s trying to write is resisting his efforts. The last thing he needs is another journalist writing a great pack of lies and smearing his reputation for some scandal sheet. Unfortunately, when Abby arrives, he’s in a rather vulnerable predicament and Abby makes the most of her advantage. Neither, though, is unaware to the frisson of attraction between them.
The discovery of a hidden room in Ravensong, a blood-stained pillow and a page, hinting at two young girls held captive, torn from a handwritten 1949 diary, immediately excites Abby’s investigative impulses and stimulates Tom’s creative juices. Could Frankie and Lilly have survived? If so, where are they now? And is it related to the other missing girls?
As well as narratives from several different perspectives, the story is told by diary entries and memory flashbacks. Romer’s descriptive prose is so evocative that the reader can just about smell the eucalyptus trees and hear the birdsong that characterises the Australian bush. Her characters are believable, each having some history of their own to affect their behaviour, and their dialogue is natural.
Romer’s plot is intriguing, with twists and turns and red herrings that keep the reader guessing right up to the dramatic climax. In addition to giving the reader a riveting page-turner, Romer touches on society’s attitudes to runaway teens and the almost-universal preconceived ideas about the predators who endangering young girls. PTSD also features. An atmospheric tale of tragedy and hope that will appeal to lovers of good Aussie fiction. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley, Better Reading Preview and Simon & Schuster Australia.
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