A HOMECOMING MARRED BY BLOOD
Journalist Martin Scarsden returns to Port Silver to make a fresh start with his partner Mandy. But he arrives to find his childhood friend murdered – and Mandy is the prime suspect. Desperate to clear her name, Martin goes searching for the truth.
A TERRIBLE CRIME
The media descends on Port Silver, compelled by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity, and religion. Martin is chasing the biggest scoop of his career, and the most personal.
A PAST HE CAN’T ESCAPE
As Martin draws closer to a killer, the secrets of his traumatic childhood come to the surface, and he must decide what is more important – the story or his family…
Having read Chris Hammer’s Scrublands last year I was delighted to get hold of his new book, Silver. Martin Scarsden, the sacked journalist we met in Scrublands, is moving back to his boyhood home, Port Silver, to be with his partner, Mandalay Blonde. Both have links to the coastal town that the other is unaware of. As soon as he arrives in town he is faced, literally, with the murder of his childhood friend and his partner is prime suspect. As a journalist Martin feels impelled to investigate, to clear his partner and identify the real killer.
There are plenty of suspects as we meet characters who were in Port Silver when Martin was young, as well as those who are important to the town of today and the story neatly brings possible killers into focus. The description of the fictional town is very well written and with property development around the town it gives a background for intrigue and opportunities for skulduggery. There is also plenty of the relaxed Australian coast lifestyle, with surfers, sharks and beach parties and all of this together makes for a very interesting and enjoyable read.
The book wonderfully intertwines stories from Martin’ childhood, before he left town at eighteen, the wider town, some of the characters and exploring family memories long buried, these events come up from time to time as an alternate story line throughout the book. The passage of time is well used for Martin to reassess people and events, both in his quest to understand his childhood and solve the case, and as the book progresses we learn a little bit more about this some what misguided character.
This is a big book! At just over 550 pages this may put people off, but I would say don’t be as it is a worthwhile read. The various strands keep you guessing as the story twists one way and then another, subplots are revealed without over-complicating the investigation and characters are drawn under suspicion before the tension ratchets up another level. The character of Martin is well drawn, we learn through him the obsessive nature of investigative journalism – as the puzzle is resolved, personal relationships are strained.
We meet some of the characters from Scrublands and if you have read this first book it may give background to some of the characters here, especially to Martin and Mandalay’s relationship but Silver can be read as a standalone story and a good one at that.
I would like to thank Caitlin Raynor @Bookywookydooda from the publishers for my wonderful gifted copy. Out on January 9th 2020.