Crime and courtroom drama meet island humour and romance in this award-winning debut novel. When Thea Dari-Jones takes the job as Officer in Charge of the Thursday Island police station in Torres Strait, she has no idea that her desire to start anew and return to her mother's Islander roots will be the greatest challenge of her life. Arriving with visions of enjoying a relaxed, idyllic island lifestyle, what she finds instead is a close-knit community divided by a brutal crime. But a coincidental meeting with Islander fisherman Jonah shows her a gentler side of life in the tropics.
As Thea investigates the tragedy, a series of surprising events lead her through the landscape and language of the locals, most of whom are convinced that maydh, or black magic, is responsible. As the case goes to trial, Thea has to choose between the life she's left behind and the unexpected ties of her new island home.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Remember that TV series RAN (Remote Area Nurse)? Well, this has the same feel as that. It's set on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and written with such a lovely sense of place that you can almost feel the warm air on your skin.
When Thea takes a job as the officer in charge of the local police station, she reconnects with her mother's islander roots, but instead of a relaxed idyll she finds herself caught up in a community divided by a brutal crime. What's more, the locals believe that maydh, their version of black magic, is involved.
Fortunately for Thea, life is not all crime solving. An encounter with a dishy fisherman shows her the potential for another life in the tropics.
The author, who lived on TI and fell in love with her own fisherman, writes with a genuine affection and respect for Islander people and their culture and captures the slower rhythms of their days in this very likeable yarn.
About the Author
Born in Sydney, Catherine grew up in Papua New Guinea and travelled widely with her family. At the age of twelve she was sent to boarding school in Australia and struggled to come to terms with the mainstream environment and the colloquialisms of Australian English. Catherine was expelled from two schools, but finally applied herself in grade twelve.
Although she wanted to become to become an artist, Catherine studied law. After qualifying and working as a solicitor, she took off on an extended period of travel within Australia and overseas. In January, 1994 she bought a one-way ticket to Denmark to rendezvous with a lover.
She decided to spend just two weeks on Thursday Island to earn money for the trip. But she fell in love with Tony, a handsome Islander fisherman, and quickly cashed in her airfare to buy a seven-metre mackerel boat.
Since meeting Tony, Catherine has worked as a barmaid, artist (sometimes current), commercial fisherman, solicitor, yoga instructor, business owner/admin chick (current) and mother and step-mother of six children (some now adults) and many animals (current). She has just qualified as a teacher. Writing is a therapeutic distraction for her from the mild chaos of family and working life.
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 21st August 2013
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.5 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.43