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No Place Like Home - Caroline Overington

No Place Like Home

By: Caroline Overington

Paperback | 1 October 2013 | Edition Number 1

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From bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caroline Overington comes another thought-provoking and heart-rending story, that reaches from the heart of Bondi to a small village in Tanzania.

Shortly after 9.30 in the morning, a young man walks into Surf City, Bondi's newest shopping complex. He's wearing a dark grey hoodie – and a bomb around his neck.

Just a few minutes later he is locked in a shop on the upper floor. And trapped with him are four innocent bystanders.

For police chaplain Paul Doherty, called to the scene by Superintendent Boehm, it's a story that will end as tragically as it began. For this is clearly no ordinary siege. The boy, known as Ali Khan, seems as frightened as his hostages and has yet to utter a single word.

The seconds tick by for the five in the shop: Mitchell, the talented schoolboy; Mouse, the shop assistant; Kimmi, the nail-bar technician; and Roger Callaghan, the real estate agent whose reason for being in Bondi that day is far from innocent.

And of course there's Ali Khan. Is he the embodiment of evil, as the villagers in his Tanzanian birthplace believe? Or simply an innocent boy, betrayed at every turn, who just wants a place to call home?

Read Caroline Baum Review

Deploying her considerable journalistic savvy, Caroline Overington has established herself as a storyteller who comes up with dramatically plausible scenarios based on the sorts of events we watch on the nightly news. She's got a finger on the pulse for current issues and for the thoughts and attitudes that animate talkback culture.

Her scenario here is simple: a boy wearing what appears to be a bomb takes several people hostage in a Sydney shopping mall. He does not talk to police or communicate any ultimatum and his motives are unclear. Police are puzzled by his appearance and his identity. Can they diffuse the situation without loss of life?

The story is narrated by a priest who witnesses the drama and acts as counsellor in its aftermath, allowing us to hear the story from multiple points of view, piecing together fragments of lives brought into a random collision with devastating consequences.

About the Author

Caroline Overington is the Associate Editor of the iconic magazine, The Australian Women's Weekly.

Caroline has won the Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism twice, and she's a former winner of the Sir Keith Murdoch prize for journalism, and of the Blake Dawson prize.

She is the author of five bestselling novels: Ghost Child, I Came to Say Goodbye, Matilda is Missing Sisters of Mercy and No Place Like Home (coming October 2013).

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