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Moonlight Downs (Hardcover)
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“Packs a real wallop. . . . An epic and ambitious mystery set against the vast backdrop of Central Australia, where indigenous and white people live side by side in an uneasy truce.”—Vogue (Australia)
“Incorporates geophysical data, race politics and aboriginal spirituality into a seamless, often hilarious stream of narrative. [It] has all the hallmarks of a first of a very successful series with the potential to forge a new sub-genre of detective fiction—that of a feisty, female indigenous sleuth whose intelligence and tenacity prove superior to force and ignorance.”—The Sydney Morning Herald
“Witty, knowing, at times downright hilarious. The plot is absorbing and Hyland’s characters are originals. . . . As Emily Tempest untangles the knot of a murder, she also comes to rediscover her past, her belonging and her self.”—Brisbane Courier Mail
Emily Tempest, a feisty part-aboriginal woman, left home to get an education and has since traveled abroad. She returns to visit the Moonlight Downs “mob,” still uncertain if she belongs in the aboriginal world or that of the whitefellers. Within hours of her arrival, an old friend is murdered and mutilated. The police suspect a rogue aborigine, but Emily starts asking questions. Emily Tempest, a modern half-aboriginal sleuth, is a welcome successor to Arthur Upfield’s classic detective.
Adrian Hyland worked with aboriginal communities in Central Australia for ten years. He now teaches at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. This is his first novel.