Shelley Burr | Paperback | April 2022
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO YOUNG EVIE McCREERY? A searing debut crime novel where the grief and guilt surrounding an unsolved disappearance still haunt a small farming community . . . and will ultimately lead to a reckoning
Evelyn simply vanished.
The small town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of New South Wales. Once a thriving outback centre, years of punishing drought have whittled it down to no more than a couple of pubs and a police station. And its one sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister.
Mina McCreery's life has been defined by the intense and ongoing public interest in her sister's case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family's sunbaked destocked sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve the disappearance has never been paid out.
Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed money, but he also has darker motivations for wanting to solve the case.
Compulsively readable, with an unforgettable setting and cast of characters, WAKE is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people's private tragedies become public property, and how it's never too late for the truth to set things right.
'Burr brings a piercing psychological acuity, creating a nuanced examination of the emotional and reputational stakes of a murder investigation.' CANBERRA TIMES
'There is a complexity and depth to the characters that offer readers something more than merely a page-turning rush, although there is plenty of that to be found too . . . A cracker of a story and some surprising twists to the tale. WAKE will appeal to fans of Jane Harper, Christian White and Chris Hammer.' BOOKS+PUBLISHING
'One of the year's best debuts. Intriguing and compelling. Shelley Burr is a bright new talent in Australian crime fiction.' CHRIS HAMMER
'A nerve-jangling thriller with a brilliantly twisty plot, WAKE is also a haunting exploration of trauma in the age of celebrity victimhood. Shelley Burr's true-to-life characters, beautifully evoked landscapes and breakneck pacing make for compulsive reading.' ROSE CARLYLE
'An effortlessly accomplished, astonishing debut set against the heat and isolation of the Australian outback.' DINUKA MCKENZIE
'WAKE is evocative, brutal, and sometimes confronting . . . The plot is complex, tightly constructed and not only keeps you reading, but guessing, right up to the last page' GOOD READING
'WAKE is the best kind of outback thriller' FIONA HARDY, READINGS
'If you love Jane Harper's books, you will love this even more.' KAYTE NUNN
'This is Australian crime fiction at its very best.' MARK BRANDI
Shelley Burr grew up on Newcastle's beaches and her grandparents' property in Glenrowan, and on the road between the two. When not writing, Shelley is working to establish a small permaculture farm and is studying agriculture at the University of New England, with a focus on soil science. She is an alumnus of the ACT Writers' Hardcopy program (2018) and a Varuna fellow. WAKE was a Top Five bestseller, won the CWA Debut Dagger Award in 2019, was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards Debut Novel Award, the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award and the Bath Novel Award. Shelley also won the ABIA's 2023 Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year for WAKE.
RIPPER is her second novel.