Text, $22.95 pb, 330 pp, 1921145307
Adrian Hyland spent many years living and working among indigenous people in the Northern Territory. His affection for and affinity with the people and the country are immediately evident. But whatever possessed him, in his first novel, to write in the voice of a young, half-Aboriginal woman? It is a testament to his skill and finely balanced writing that more has not been made of this fact, and that the reception to his novel has been mostly positive.
Set in Central Australia, Diamond Dove is a beautifully paced novel that blends the best of the crime genre – mystery, gore, multiple suspects – with a gentle yet incisive narrative about black–white relations, with each other and to the land. Emily Tempest has tentatively returned to the Moonlight Downs community after years of starting and abandoning university degrees and travelling the world. Never quite sure of where she belongs, Emily’s homecoming is part of her search for self. As she renews acquaintances, it begins to feel like she never left. But within hours of her arrival, a murder takes place and Emily finds herself immersed in a hunt for the perpetrator.