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False pretences in the Australian Outback
on 17 February 2015
Cassie, who teaches organic gardening, feels ready to settle down and to start a family; but before that she wants to have one last adventure, whilst making sure that her boyfriend Graham, can commit to an adult relationship.
She answers an advertisement for a couple to assist with household chores and some care to a husband and wife in Western Australia. She attends an interview and meets the charming Larry Drake, who offers her the job on the spot. All she has to do now is tell Graham!
A couple of weeks later they arrive in Australia, are met by Larry, and taken by plane and then car, to Woolagong Station, deep in the outback.
There is no electricity, no running water and living conditions are far more basic than they could ever have imagined.
In due course they meet the eccentric and troubled Mara, Larry’s wife, but the only other person they meet is Fred, a distant neighbour who turns up with supplies every now and then.
It soon becomes clear that Cassie is more robust than Graham and she embraces the challenges and settles into a routine. On the other hand, Graham remains unsettled and suspicious of their employer.
As time passes both Cassie and Graham start to question the restrictions put on them by Larry, and they talk about leaving and returning home, although Cassie is reluctant to give up.
The suspense in this novel is low-key and builds extremely slowly; it isn’t until past halfway that anything actually happens. Whilst I understand that perhaps the intention was to write a subtle story where the menace was merely suggested, for me it went too far. I knew something was going to happen, and quite frankly I just wanted to get on with it.
It isn’t a bad book; the writing is beautiful and the character studies and interplay between the characters feels real. Also, the descriptions of the outback with the isolation and no means of contacting the outside world is finely crafted. The climax is also satisfyingly macabre
Overall a good read, but didn’t have me hiding behind the sofa! -Pashtpaws
Rating: 3.5 stars.
bestsellingcrimethrillers.com was provided with and advanced copy for review.