Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Martin arrives at Riversend to write a follow up article on the tragedy which happened a year ago. His colleague had covered the event, so Martin thinks he knows what has happened: the beloved priest had come out of the church with his gun and shot five men. Except now Martin is in Riversend and talking to the locals, he realises that maybe the case isn’t closed and like any journalist, the itch is something he can’t resist, he decides to conduct some more research and get to the bottom of it.

Right from the very start, Hammer’s writing draws you in with its clarity and finesse, I knew instantly that I was in safe hands and I was in for a treat.

Whilst at first, I presumed this book was going to be all about the research and unraveling of the previous event, it wasn’t long before I was corrected, and I read avidly how Martin immersed himself in every day life and also dissected his past.

I was blown away by the atmosphere in this book, I felt transported to Riversend, and could feel the warmth, the dilapidation of the town and the despair of the locals.

With a well thought out plot, the next ingredient is of course a set of characters to orchestrate it. Hammer picked the perfect selection of personalities to ensure the flow and believability of the story worked. Throughout all the characters, each seemed to have a perfect balance of wit and that niggle that made you not trust them, making them intriguing and you become curious to find out more about them. I was particularly fond of Codger, his outrageousness and humour made him stand out for me – but beware, he will shock you a few times!

Hammer has constructed a strong and gripping story line that kept me intrigued until the very last page – I think fans of John Grisham will enjoy Hammer’s writing style. I can not wait to see what comes next from Hammer.

Scrublands is out now in hardback and eBook versions from Wildfire, the paperback will follow in July this year.

Thank you to Caitlin who sent me an early proof copy, I am always truly grateful to publishers when they introduce me to new authors. Please note, it is my choice to read and review this book here on my blog, I am not influenced by anyone.

Until next time, Chloé x

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