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Adrian Hyland

Two drunk whitefellas have a barney at the Green Swamp Well Roadhouse. One ends up with a hammer in his throat. To the police, it is a simple case of provocation and retaliatory murder, but the newly appointed Aboriginal Community Police Officer (ACPO) for Bluebush in the Northern Territory thinks otherwise. As a local, Emily Tempest knows the feuding boozers and doubts that an argument – over Greek philosophy, of all things – might have incited such mortal violence. Tempest vividly returns in Gunshot Road, Adrian Hyland’s sequel to Diamond Dove (2006). Once again, the amateur sleuth returns home to Moonlight Downs and is drawn into a web of increasing stickiness. Her reckless bravura results in her own entrapment.

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Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland & The Cobbler's Apprentice by Sandy McCutcheon

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287

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.

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