The Great Divide

The Great Divide 1

by L.J.M. Owen

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 05/11/2019

5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $24.25

A city detective hunts a killer through a fog of lies in small town Tasmania.

Twisted Secrets. Hidden Victims. Monstrous Crimes.

In the rural Tasmanian town of Dunton, the body of a former headmistress of a children's home is discovered, revealing a tortured life and death.

Detective Jake Hunter, newly arrived, searches for her killer among past residents of the home. He unearths pain, secrets and broken adults. Pushing aside memories of his own treacherous past, Jake focuses all his energy on the investigation. Why are some of the children untraceable? What caused such damage among the survivors?

The identity of her murderer seems hidden from Jake by Dunton's fog of prejudice and lies, until he is forced to confront not only the town's history but his own nature...

Crime & Mystery
Paperback / softback
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L.J.M. Owen

Dr L.J.M. Owen has degrees in archaeology, forensic science and librarianship. She speaks five languages and has travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. L.J. was inspired to write the Dr Pimms series by the neglected women's stories she discovered between the cracks of popular archaeology. Three books in this series have been published by Echo Publishing. L.J.'s new novel, The Great Divide, introduces a new story world and characters. L.J. is also the Festival Director of the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival, a celebration of literature and literacy in southern Tasmania, and divides her time between Canberra and southern Tasmania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Dark and gritty

    by on

    The Great Divide is a crime novel by Australian archaeologist, librarian and author, L.J.M. Owen. When Detective Jake Hunter transfers from Melbourne to Dunton in rural Tasmania, he’s expecting a quiet two years. Not that much happens in small towns, surely? But within days, he’s standing over a mutilated dead body in a vineyard. The victim, Ava O’Brien, was a matron for a local (bad) girls’ home that shut down some ten years earlier.

    Jake’s first instinct is to look for disgruntled former residents of the home but, apart from two girls who were adopted by families in Dunton, the girls are strangely difficult to track down, although this may be due to the (in)competence of the local constable. Before long, events begin to indicate that some strange and disturbing practices occurred at the home.

    Jake’s senior officer seems more intent on pandering to the town’s sensitivities than solving the crime, while his off-sider is a semi-literate constable who likes a beer. An added complication is that the boss often sends his daughter, the local Victims of Crime Services counsellor, to sit in on interviews. Jake finds her behaviour somewhat unprofessional and wonders about her qualifications. Jake is struck, too, by the almost biblical sense of male superiority that pervades the town.

    Jake is still feeling guilty over the reason for his sudden departure from Melbourne, and grateful to have at least one ally in recently-arrived forensic pathologist, Dr Meena Gill. Over the days that follow, Jake sources information locally and further afield and, with each shocking revelation, the level of horror at the implied atrocities increases, the list of possible suspects for Ava’s murder expands, and the likely body count rises.

    Owen easily evokes her setting: small-town rural Tasmania, with its beautiful surrounds belying the rumour and gossip, the secrets and guilt, and the social pressure to conform. As the truth gradually emerges, the reader is kept guessing, and even the most astute of those is unlikely to place all the puzzle pieces before the final reveal. Dark and gritty, this is excellent Australian crime fiction, and more of Detective Jake Hunter will definitely be welcome.
    This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Echo Publishing.

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