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Diamond Dove [Paperback]

Adrian Hyland
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Aug 2008

Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel (2007).

Emily Tempest has been away from the outback for a long time - uni, travel, dead-end jobs... finding trouble all over the world. Now she's back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, there's trouble. Within hours of her arrival an old friend is brutally murdered and mutilated and an old enemy is the only suspect... until Emily starts asking questions.

Take a nail-biting mystery, an epic setting and a heroine with a talent for stirring things up. Throw in an affectionate flogging of outback Australia's melanoma-encrusted hide - and Diamond Dove just might be the wittiest and most gripping debut of the year.



Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (7 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847243770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847243775
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This debut packs a real wallop. Hyland spins an epic and ambitious mystery set against the vast backdrop of Central Australia' Vogue.

'An amazingly accomplished first novel with a memorable heroine. Hyland's hard-hitting prose has conjured up not only the atmosphere but the spirit of this remote little community and its colourful inhabitants. He's a definite writer to watch' Sunday Telegraph.

'Absolutely beautiful ... a witty, angry and moving book. This is a breathtaking audacious debut novel' Reviewing the Evidence.

About the Author

After studying languages and literature at Melbourne University, Adrian Hyland moved to Central Australia where he lived for ten years working in community development in remote Aboriginal communities and living with the Warlpiri people in the Tanami Desert. Diamond Dove is his first novel.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIAMOND DOVE 6 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
Emily Tempest has returned to the Northern Territory to visit the aboriginal community, Moonlight Downs, in which she grew up. Emily left in her teens; her father sent her to live with an aunt in order to keep her out of trouble and get a decent education. At 26 years of age, Emily is back. She's not sure why. Perhaps to visit her father or maybe it's a need to find out where she belongs in the world Right now she feels she has a foot in both the white and aboriginal worlds and doesn't quite fit into either.

One of the first people she encounters on her return is Lincoln Flinders, one of the community leaders and father of Emily's closest childhood friend, Hazel. Within hours, Lincoln is found brutally murdered and first appearances would indicate that it has been a ritual tribal murder. The obvious suspect is Blakie, an eccentric who lives on the fringes of the community and appears to be their self-appointed spiritual enforcer. However there's something about the death that doesn't sit right with Emily. The ritual aspects of the murder might have been done to cover the real cause. Blakie may be cunning but he isn't that well organised. Finding the police indifferent to her feelings about the murder, Emily embarks on her own investigation which take her on a journey on which she discovers who she really is and uncovers the identity of the killer along the way.

The author, Adrian Hyland, spent many years living and working with indigenous people in the Northern Territory; DIAMOND DOVE is a story told with a great deal of affection for the people. Their spiritual connection to the land and its native animals is particularly well described.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark, sparse and beautiful 23 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
In one sense this is a fairly simple "whodunnit" with false leads, twists and turns and a very engaging lead character. The murder of an aboriginal elder is not as straight forward as it seems, the main suspect is more than he seems. Add in a misfit, sparky heroine, some aboriginal mysticism and a few rednecks and you get something beyond the ordinary. THe book's setting lifts it out of the ordinary, or rather, Hyland's description of the Australian outback raises it above the bar. The outback is one of the main characters in this book and influences each and every character in some way or another. The book is full or a wry, dry humour and the main character, Emily Tempest is one of the most vividly realised heroines Ive ever come across. Its a very visual book with beautifully described settings and characters. It amazes me that Hyland can paint such clear pictures with fairly sparse language. Its not an over wordy book. Every word serves a purpose.
This is a great read and a book I will read again and would recommend to others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
(4.5 stars) Part white and part aborigine, Emily Tempest has "a foot in both camps." As a child living with the aborigines at Moonlight Downs while her white father worked at the Moonlight cattle station, Emily was a happy member of the community until she was fourteen, when her natural curiosity and tempestuous nature led her to violate a strong community taboo. Immediately, she was sent off to boarding school in Adelaide, her best friend, and partner in the violation, an aborigine, facing a worse penalty within the community. After starting three degrees (including law) and finishing none, she traveled the world, eventually finding her way back "home" for the first time in twelve years, just as Lincoln Flinders, the father of her best friend and the leader of the community, is found murdered. There is no dearth of motives.

The aborigine community has recently had its ancestral lands restored by the Australian courts after whites had appropriated it for cattle grazing and development, and resentful whites have been trying to buy or lease it back. Racial tensions and cultural conflicts underlie intercommunity relationships, and some of the aborigines' most sacred sites have been deliberately destroyed by whites. Aborigine youth who have lived in Bluebush, the nearest community, no longer feel the ties to the land that their parents and ancestors have had, and the community's future is threatened. Emily Tempest is determined to find out who murdered Lincoln Flinders, and she is in a unique position to do so, but she also has her enemies, both inside and outside the aborigine community.

Australian author Adrian Hyland, who won the Ned Kelly Award for this atmospheric and dramatic first novel, creates a narrative that moves at warp speed, filled with action and excitement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Bizgen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The coming of a female investigator, of half Aboriginal descent, engaged me instantly. In my twenties I discovered the classic series by Arthur Upfield with his Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte , 'Bony', and read them cover to cover, and more than once.

Emily Tempest is a new and delightful twist on this concept. The Aboriginal customs and their way of using nature and their surroundings to give clues to what has happened is fascinating. I gave this book four stars because I just know I shall be giving five to the second in the series, Gunshot Road: An Emily Tempest Mystery, which I began to read recently because my SO said he'd liked it. I enjoyed the first three chapters so much, that I immediately checked out the author on fantasticfiction.com. When I saw that the first book was on offer, I downloaded it and decided I would enjoy the whole experience more if I read them in sequence.

We see Emily come back to her roots in Moonlight Downs in the Northern Territory of Australia, after her several changes of tack in university, where, amongst other things she half-completed a law degree. She's a tough and determined terrier of a girl, and enjoys nothing more than sticking her nose in things that don't really concern her,which is how she comes to find herself investigating the murder and mutilation of an Aboriginal friend's father. The telling descriptions, prose, dialogue are interspersed with shafts of brilliant humour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written as well as being a nail-biting murder mystery!
The writing in this book is so good you can almost smell the Northern Australian outback and you feel that you know the characters personally. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Scottie dog owner
5.0 out of 5 stars Prequel to Gunshot Road
The story of an Aboriginal girl returning to the community she was brought up in after leaving them for 12 years to travel. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Deakin
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, gritty, outback thriller
Splendid writing, my family are all aussies and I can hear them using these wonderful phrases, the dialogue is true aussie, raw and hilarious. Read more
Published 19 months ago by xtine
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Diamond Dove
Very different from any other book I have ever read. Took me to an area of the world I know nothing about.
Published 19 months ago by John Graham Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful novel
Diamond Dove is a wonderful novel. Engagingly written, with good prose, a well crafted, multi-textured plot, and perfectly paced, Hyland transports the reader into the natural and... Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2012 by Rob Kitchin
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
I really enjoyed this - a classic crime/thriller with a wonderful cultural twist. The details of everyday life for an outback community - with all the attached issues of racism,... Read more
Published on 24 July 2012 by C. Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem!
I loved this book! It was so well written I could hear the narrative in Australian accent in my head! A must read this summer
Published on 23 July 2012 by Helen Laverty
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