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Bay of Fires Hardcover – 31 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075538783X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755387830
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 23.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,618,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Beautifully atmospheric and superbly gripping, BAY OF FIRES is a stellar debut. Poppy Gee has a deft hand with characterization, and a clear, fresh voice. She brought me straight to the wild shores of Tasmania, and into the troubled heart of her heroine -- and all the while she had me eagerly turning the pages late into the night as she carefully tightened the screws of suspense." (Lisa Unger, NYT bestselling author of HEARTBROKEN)

"A thrilling murder mystery set on the coast of Tasmania, BAY OF FIRES is my favorite book of the fall. Poppy Gee's heroine is tough and absolutely winning." (Amanda Eyre Ward, author of HOW TO BE LOST)

Book Description

A Tasmanian Belinda Bauer

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is Poppy Gee's debut novel and it is a solid read, one can only hope to see a good career ahead of this author. Set in an idyllic setting in the Bay of Fires, Tasmania, the place is part of the National Park. With only two year round residents, come summer there are about seventy people in the area, those who own shacks, those that have been rented out, and those who are staying at the guest house, or camping.

Thirty-five year old Sarah Avery has returned to the place to spend Christmas with the family, after a disastrous affair. In this quiet idyll it seems that paradise is here on Earth, but then a body is found on the shore, the day after Boxing Day; a young Swiss tourist which looks like she has been raped and murdered. This catastrophe reminds the regulars of the mysterious disappearance of a a girl the past summer.

When Hall Flynn, a journalist is sent to report on the matter he finds that things may not be as they seem. This works so well as it isn't about the police investigating a crime, indeed thy turn up do a forensics search and question the people in the area. We never actually meet them as such, this is more about how a community deals with the crime. With the police still carrying out their investigations and waiting on a detailed autopsy suspicions grow amongst the community. With the poorer holiday goers and the richer ones starting to show class divisions, the only thing that some of them can agree upon is who they think committed the murder.

As Hall ends up doing human interest stories whilst waiting to hear what the police dig up he starts to find out things that have been buried under the surface. Happy families it may appear on the surface, but just scratch away the top layer and you find all sorts of shenannigans going on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in a tiny, remote holiday community in Tasmania, this is an unhurried, sometimes long-winded, portrait of a group of neighbours faced with murder in their midst.

I liked the idea at the heart of this book but the execution doesn't quite manage to pull it off. Only some of the characters have, um, character, and too many are just names. The writing style tends to telling rather than showing which made this feel very flat rather than alive (`Her sister, Erica, said Sarah has brought the rain with her. Indifferently she agreed and took another large mouth of beer').

The author has an odd writer's tick where she tells an event, then circles back to the story just before the event she's narrated for no obvious reason, and this serves to make the story feel jumpy and uneven.

Most of all, there's an opaque quality to the tale, almost as if the whole thing is being told behind a veil or mist - I longed for some directness and immediacy but it never came. Nice idea, but an unsatisfying read.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Not again! Just a year after a young visitor went missing, the mutilated body of another is found on the beach. The small Tasmanian coastal community is rife with suspicion and fear. This in the Christmas holiday season too, bookings promptly cancelled at the guesthouse.

Reporter Hall Flynn drives in to cover the story, his pushy editor preferring sensationalism to facts. Hall befriends local Sarah Avery, she even more volatile than usual following the dramatic termination of her last employment. Together they uncover secrets and much to disturb....

Emphasis is more on atmosphere and relationships than on speedy solving of the crime, the delayed autopsy holding everything up. Inevitably tensions rise, eyes turning to weird Roger Coper. His mother was quite mad. So surely is he. With police so slow, why should residents not settle matters once and for all?

The novel abounds with suspects and creatures with strange names, some of the latter disturbingly able to get into houses at night. (Well done, those who already knew what a quoll is!). Red herrings are amongst the many fishes featured. (Readers will learn a lot about those.)

My enjoyment was largely thanks to Hall Flynn, most of the others around not particularly pleasant.

Recommended as an agreeable read for those who prefer the scenic route, keen to savour a work dripping in ambiance. Some are likely to feel very smug, they having identified the culprit long before the end.
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The synopsis for this book on Amazon made it look like a light-hearted romance combined with a bit of suspense. In fact, this is an observational novel about damaged people. It begins slowly and I was tempted to abandon it as I couldn't really like any of the characters but as I kept on reading I found that I began to understand them and to identify with them. There is no great dramatic climax in this book and the murder investigation is not part of the story - this is a book about how people react in an unusual situation and I found it well observed and sensitively written.

Sarah has joined her family in the temporary hut (they call it a shack) where they spend the summer in a Tasmanian national park. There are a number of transient communities who have come together, each person bringing their own baggage. Sarah finds the body of a holidaymaker near a rock pool and the community link this with the previous disappearance of a young woman. The story is set in an atmosphere of suspicion and then accusation. Sarah becomes obsessed with the deaths and links up with Hall, who is a reporter who has come to write stories about the area and the crime. Sarah brings her own baggage connected with the reason why she left her previous job (the author takes a bit too long to reveal this in full detail) and its effect on her and Hall has his own problems. There are a number of other people with their problems, secrets and prejudices. The solution to the mystery makes perfect sense and fits in well with the author's themes of loneliness, despair, and misunderstanding.

The evocation of the landscape and the claustrophobic atmosphere is well done. Some of the characters were a bit interchangeable and I did learn a little more about fishing than I actually wanted to, but in the end this was a worthwhile and intelligent read. It's a great cover too.
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